The Good Guys
Ashley C. Ford
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“A country built on winning at all costs could never value anything as weak as equality.”

Just want to commend you on a great line Ashley. I’ve never understood peoples drive, and the ‘systems’ insistence, that anything other than ‘first’ is failure. It mattered greatly to our distant ancestors, after all it often meant life or death, but has little relevance now. Especially if we want to flourish as a species.

Competition is still necessary - it can incentivise, it drives innovation, keeps a lid on profiteering etc. The problem arises when societies turn ‘healthy’ competition into confrontations, battles and ultimately war. The language is important. And we are often dulled into mistaking commonplace nasty workplace politics, for example, as simply a part of life. Rubbish; it’s mild, oft ‘perceived’ competition, transformed into something ugly where “there can only be one ring” (sorry, showing my age).

I loved sport growing up, but the best advice from a coach I ever received was “it’s just a game”– enjoy the process, the learning, the achievement…then move on.

Though, I admit to having some issues with the word equality itself. To me, the word equality has a physicality to it that can contribute to it’s downfall. It implies an uneasy (maybe even forced?) struggle to balance Black & White; but ignores the important shades of grey that make up most of life that in turn creates Tone and thereby contributing colour to our lives. I would prefer harmony, to continue the artistic analogy.

The language of consideration, empathy and empowerment needs to come to the fore. Our anachronistic education systems need to be changed…topping the class isn’t actually relevant or important, but that is what my 6yr old daughter is dealing with at the moment. What is important is the act of learning itself; the exploration, the process, the desire for knowledge, truth…and the enjoyment that comes from sharing that process and resulting discoveries. Take DNA — when you can discover as a white male living in Europe your heritage is actually closer to the Steppes of Mongolia — how much easier is it for the notions of equality, indeed harmony, and people-hood to gain a foothold?

Strength should come from breaking down barriers, not building walls. And clever users of language like yourself Ashley do have that strength at your fingertips. You do have the power to bring down walls. Good luck!

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