How the search for equality becomes imbalanced

Suppose we are severely sick. Would we care whether the hospital has doctors from various ethnic backgrounds? No, we would care whether it has the best doctors. 

Life is tough, filled with hundreds of serious problems that if not dealt with properly can lead to disaster. For facing such problems, we need the most competent people to be at hand and even be at the helm. Those who have experienced first-hand how tough life is know how critical competency is. In contrast, those who are starry-eyed, having little experience of real-life, often become obsessed with equality and rant against perceived inequalities. 

Those who are serious about actually making a difference, as contrasted with sloganeering about making a difference, accept the ground level reality that much in life can’t be changed. They focus on the things that can be changed, which often center on reshaping individual human character rather than on resenting or rejecting social systems. 

Again, the point here is not at all to trivialize equality and certainly not to legitimize inequality; the point is contextualize the search for equality in the light of the bigger human condition. The Bhagavad-gita states that we need to accept the fact that the world is inherently a distressful place and make the best of our situation as we move toward spiritualizing our consciousness (09.33). 

When we raise our consciousness and help others raise their consciousness, everyone can better tap their abilities and grow to a greater level of competency. And we all can decide judiciously when and how to strive for reforming social structures. 

By tapping our competencies better, we all can help make our shared life-journey less stressful and more fruitful. 

One-sentence summary: 

When the pursuit of equality is integrated with the pursuit of spirituality, it raises competency rather than reducing it. 

Think it over:

  • In real life, why are considerations other than equality more important?
  • How can Gita wisdom help us contextualize the search for equality?
  • How can raising consciousness help us function in life?


09.33: How much more this is so of the righteous brāhmaṇas, the devotees and the saintly kings. Therefore, having come to this temporary, miserable world, engage in loving service unto Me.


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  1. JAPA imbibes virtues in you.

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