When equality brings out the best in you, your day-to-day life becomes as vibrant as all the colors in the rainbow.
It is amazing what can happen when equality brings out the best in you. Human forces are fighting equality on so many fronts. People who are racist don’t want those of other races to have the same rights, freedoms, and privileges as they do. There are men [and, even more strangely, some women] who do not want women to have the same rights as they do. Many Americans with very strong fundamentalist religious beliefs don’t want people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender to have the same rights as they enjoy. I don’t know what you think, but I am sure that the fight for inequality cannot bring out the best in anyone.
You may have no way of understanding what happens when equality brings out the best in you, if you have never been made to feel that you are unequal. Let me explain what happens when equality brings out the best in you.
Last Wednesday morning, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Defense of Marriage Act, and on California’s Proposition 8, I awoke just like any other day. But it was known that the ruling would be announced that morning. So waking up was met with heavy anticipation. Not the kind of anticipation that comes with embarking on a trip abroad, but anticipation tinged with anxiety. After all, the court was about to rule on the life I was to live.
NBC News’ Pete Williams, reporting from the steps of the Supreme Court, read off each of the rulings. I stayed in bed to watch this, glued to the TV and to Facebook. On my page, the first thing I wrote was “DOMA down!” Later, I wrote, “Prop 8 proponents have lost!” It was exhilarating to experience, though I sat quietly just taking it all in.
I had meetings that day with people who I know very well, and who have always treated me in a way that could only be interpreted as equal. It’s noteworthy to point out that I’m someone who they each count on to help bring out the best in them. In my interactions with each of them, I could not help but internally notice that I felt each new interaction in a way that was somehow different. My clients certainly treated me as equal, and I always felt that I was equal. But once equality became the law of the land for LGBT people [with more battles to wage for unequivocal equality], it was as though the air I was breathing was somehow fresher.
I think that equality brings out the best in you just by knowing that you are the same as someone else – something so fundamental. Can you imagine being denied such a basic principle? It’s not exactly something tangible. But it somehow affects everything about you that you are on a cellular level.
When equality brings out the best in you, you focus on the possibilities of what you can do, and not what you are prevented from doing. Equality is not a one-issue topic. It is as diverse as all those who have waged the battle to achieve it.
Whatever the color of your skin, or your gender, or your sexual orientation, you can’t change these things about you. How can you deny yourself of yourself? And how dare anyone deny you of anything you are on a cellular level?
Every single day of my life is devoted to helping others – and yes, myself – be at our very best. We can have the best and most stylish clothes. We can behave in the most upstanding and responsible ways. We can have the greatest attitude about ourselves. We can seem to have it all from the outside, from the way people perceive us. But when something so rational – like being recognized legally as equal, when it wasn’t always that way – finally comes your way, it hits you at such a deeply emotional level. You could not possibly have had the chance to have it all before that moment. For people like me, we really now can have it all. All of us have that possibility within our reach.
When equality brings out the best in you, you bring out the best in your relationships, and in your personal potential.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs transform their self-confidence by improving their personal style. Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “7 Ways to Transform Your Personal Style”.
Destined to become a “style savant,” as clients describe him, Joseph Rosenfeld has come a long way from humble beginnings. It’s a journey he was born to take, so he could heal and transform, and then take others on theirs. “Style is more than the way you look,” Joseph says, “it’s about setting intentions for how we want to see ourselves before others do.” The goal is projecting confidence. So, others see you at ease with who you are and how you show up. In the end, you know who you are, and so does everyone else around you.