The Canadian Charter of Rights includes Equality Rights:
With this backing we create identities based on certain circumstances – race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender and so on. This provides an easy and understandable starting point to protect rights, but these “group circumstances” are far from the reality of defining who we really are as individuals.
Gangs brought together by socio-economic conditions share a feeling that they have something in common. Members give up their true individuality to band together. Eventually for some it becomes very problematic once they realize that they were meant to do something far different.
Even worse has occurred throughout history and continues today as people band together on nothing more than “group circumstances” and wage war, in one way or another, against those of another grouping.
At best, there are the more privileged rich who may be very generous and philanthropic with the inheritance or financial fortune bestowed on them. Even better is the movement by Bill Gates to encourage other billionaires to allocate more of their wealth to worthy charitable causes.
These “group circumstances” may not be circumstances as defined by Merriam-Webster. Instead of being conditions, facts, or events, they may be opinions, beliefs, or values. Creating these groupings is fine until they are used as reasons or excuses that keep people from moving ahead. Have you handicapped yourself by creating circumstances that prevent you from moving forward?
Some aspects of your life may be negative at a particular time. Don’t use those too-appropriate labels to describe your self or others – “loser”, “nerd”, “groupie”, “senior”, “brat”. Labels often stick for years if not a lifetime. Again, there’s much more to your character, values, attitude and skills than can be indicated by a label or two or even more.
Uncomplimentary adjectives have a belittling effect. “Lazy”, “dumb”, “cheap”, “rude”, “opinionated”, “stubborn”, “aloof” are derogatory terms that wouldn‘t get through the three Sufi checkpoints, especially the third:
1. Is it true?
2. Is it necessary?
3. Is it kind?
Perhaps most discouraging are those scornful descriptions that focus on appearances. “Fat”, “ugly”, “tubby”, “four-eyes”, “old” and similar degrading labels can be very hurtful.