When it comes to financial equality and discussions around equal pay, I can't help but think about how the whole discussion leads many of us astray, enforcing the dangerous conviction that money is more important than it actually is.
There's no denying that access to basic necessities and equal opportunities are critical and we have no excuse not to strive toward these ideals. The point of this article is not to dismiss the fact that with so much wealth, every single man, woman, and child on the planet ought to have access to basic necessities, education, and healthcare.
What I'm speaking about here is the rage and disgust that people feel when they hear that certain individuals possess a certain amount of money.
Your financial worth doesn't equate to your true worth.
While equal opportunity and access to basic necessities are worthy ideals, the behemoth nature of this argument implies that money is the answer.
No one is stopping to ask why we're even discussing money. Who cares what someone makes? The fact that we care so much means we're still wildly confused that more money equals better life. That's just not true!
Yes, systems are set up to favor the wealthy and impoverish the poor, and it's a vicious cycle. This isn't a dissertation on any income, wealth, or opportunity gaps. This is a commentary on how even if income, wealth, and opportunity were perfectly distributed, it still would not be the end-all be-all answer that we're all looking for.
So what, someone has a billions dollars. Is that how we're measuring success? Is that what we think it means to be winning? Is that something we need to be striving towards?
Sure, a system should be set up in such a way where folks struggling financially should not be overlooked, and should be given equal opportunity. No one's arguing with that.
My point is simple. Let's take a step back and ask ourselves why the conversation about financial inequality is so pressing.
I don't care if Jeff Bezos is worth over $100 billion dollars. All that means is he's worth over $100 billion dollars. It doesn't mean his experience of life is any better, or worse, because of it. Money and fulfillment have absolutely zero correlation.
The studies that show happiness levels plateau after $75,000 per year imply that money is the source of happiness. This couldn't be further from the truth. Perhaps our egos find an income of $75k/year or more rather pleasing, but we, the consciousness inside observing our egos, don't need any dollar amount to feel fully alive.
That's the problem. We're so identified with our minds - with our thoughts and emotions - that we get consumed by their energetic patterns. Our minds don't like the fact that someone can make a billion dollars while other people are starving, but since we're so identified with our minds, we don't like it.
Helping those in poverty is a noble cause and one I stand behind. I just wish we'd pay a little less attention to the money and the situations outside, and more collective attention on our experience within.
In the end, that's all that matters, and that's what all the talk about the outside is for anyway.
Live with substance!