Fortune Cookie Friday: Clime Every Mountain
“All men are created equal” was a central idea in the Declaration of Independence. Equality in this essence is everyone having the same fundamental rights, no matter the circumstance.
Just because we are all equal under the law doesn’t mean that we are all equal in form and ability. Some of us are short. Others are tall. Some can give birth to children, and others can’t. Some people can type 100 words per minute, while others hunt and peck at the keyboard.
People are as varied as we are plentiful on this planet. There is a good reason for that too. A diverse species are better able to survive external stressors rather than become extinct. The differences in our species also keep life and the world around us more interesting.
Unfortunately, some people believe it is unfair that we are unequal or diverse. They think that we all should receive the same outcome in life.
There has been a lot of talk about equity lately. In our country, everyone has equality of opportunity. This premise “requires only that people be free from certain obstacles to pursue their own happiness and success.”  It is not to be confused with equality of outcome, which “insists that everyone do equally well with respect to some of the goods that individuals value, regardless of their effort, talents, and whether they wish to pursue it.” 
The man in today’s fortune didn’t fall on top of the mountain. Success does not come automatically to those who don’t try. People who reach great heights are people who work hard and struggle to get there. It may be easier for some because they have longer, stronger legs. Perhaps they chose to walk rather than run. Maybe they stopped and devised a machine that could do the work for them.
Nonetheless, it takes patience, persistence, and hard work to be successful at anything.
Life isn’t fair. We may have heard that saying so often that we begin to discount it, but we should recognize how factual it is.
Life is hard and cruel. We come into this world naked and crying, and when we leave, well, we aren’t much better. Technically we do receive the same outcome in life—death. But the world we live in holds a cornucopia of opportunities for the taking, and none of us should waste that chance.
We should take advantage of our skills to get ahead in life and not hide behind our shortcomings. Yes, every journey we take will likely have barriers in the way of our success, but the worst barriers are ourselves and the belief that we aren’t good enough.
¹ Stanford University. (n.d.). An Introduction to Equality of Opportunity. Retrieved December 1, 2021, from https://edeq.stanford.edu/sections/equality-opportunity-introduction