On reading the newspaper during this mornings train journey, I was faced with a most shocking cover story; 3 women, of varying age and ethnicity had been kept as domestic slaves in a house in South London for over 30 years, possibly having suffered mental and physical abuse. This story made me both sad and frustrated - how can we as a country claim to be "developed" if such extreme cases of abuse and inequality still exist within our society? And with the upcoming release of the new Mandela film I thought today would be a suitable excuse for me to write a post on equality.
|Larmer Tree Festival |
Being able to experience travel from a young age has helped to teach me what I believe to be one of the most valuable social skills; acceptance. But it's not just an acceptance of place and culture, it's also an appreciation - accepting traditional culture is important but being able to appreciate and adapt it to the 21st century is even more relevant as our world continues to globalise. We are no longer separate nations and races but one global community connected through trains, planes and cyber space. I'm not saying forget patriotism and individuality - there is nothing wrong with taking pride in oneself and your country, but what I am saying is that surely the world would benefit from a little more tolerance and understanding? It's not just where you come from; we should not be afraid of defining ourselves with age, gender, sexual orientation, faith or ethnicity - things we should be proud of - but we should not let these factors stand between us and the next person. Whether you believe the knowledge and power of the human race was given to us by God, Brahma, Allah or Charles Darwin and his monkeys, we are all in it together and I think that's something we tend to forget as we get wrapped up in the technology-fuelled, work-saturated isolation of modern society.
Whether you organise a campaign to help rural communities in Zambia, support your college's LGBT society or simply smile at someone in the street, kindness and equality toward each other is a positive thing that we can all play a part in.
- On a side note I would just like to say that anyone that can, please, please help raise awareness, donate, campaign to help those suffering in the Philippines. My thoughts go out to all those affected by typhoon Haiyan. Support the Oxfam campaign here. -
All thoughts on this post are welcome in the comments below; keep smiling and stand up for what you believe in!