In today’s world there are many arguments about the word equal opportunity, but the idea is not one that we should take for granted. It is the idea that every person has an equal opportunity to live a healthy, successful and meaningful life. Equal opportunity means a state of fairness where job applicants are not treated differently, unhampered by natural biases or personal prejudices, nor treated in a way that is specifically justified based on gender, race or age.
The word “equal opportunity” actually originates from an old, outmoded version of the word equal. Equal is defined as “similar in kind or condition” or “similar in function”. It is considered inappropriate to use the word “equally” in reference to people and things.
Equal, therefore, means something different for everyone, and what we mean by that is that each person has a level of potential to make it in life regardless of the circumstances surrounding them. If you have experienced any discrimination at work, you know that being treated unfairly at some point can affect your life in negative ways, and that this can have a big effect on your self-esteem and sense of achievement.
A society where every individual receives equal opportunity will provide a society in which every individual is not only fulfilled but also treated fairly. People who feel under-appreciated are more likely to take action, and are able to overcome their own shortcomings. This in turn leads to individuals being able to achieve great things. The ability to succeed is one of the most essential qualities that a society needs to support, because it makes people feel good about themselves and is a sign of personal success. A society that treats people equally can support a healthy economy and a strong economy.
Equal is not always the same as perfect. There are always going to be differences in the lives of those in different walks of life, and if we believe in the concept of equality then we need to expect that the same will hold true for those within our own workplace and our communities. We also need to respect and accept this difference and learn to accept that no one person is going to be better than another, and that they are all equally deserving.
Equal opportunity is something that everyone should be proud of, and fight for. If everyone can have equal opportunity, we can all live an empowered life and live in a society where the people who have the greatest potential and are in the best positions in life are rewarded most heavily, not just because of who they are, but because they deserve it.