“Saying that others are equal means nothing if you don’t treat them as equal. Back your words up with actions every time.” ~Lisa Merlo-Booth
Equality is a verb, and absolute equality is vital to healthy relationships. At its core, equality is about worth, and it plays out in how you speak to, treat, talk about, and interact with others. Equality is as vital between you and your partner as it is in regards to gender, race, groups, or systems. When you say any person or group is “equal” to you or others, you say that you all have the same amount of worthiness—regardless of what you look like, where you work, how much money you have, or (fill in the blank).
Similarly, in your relationship, saying you believe your partner is equal to you means you know that you have the same level of worth and are equally vital human beings. Your thoughts, opinions, hopes, fears, beliefs, and dreams are as important as your partner’s, regardless of whether one has a higher degree, more money, a better job, or no job.
Absolute equality should be acted out every day, in every interaction with one another. It’s the moment when:
- Your partner gives you a hug when your sad rather than telling you to get over it.
- You listen to your partner’s ideas with curiosity and intrigue versus dismissiveness.
- You both hear each other’s dreams and do your part to help those dreams become a reality rather than stomping on them or saying their goals are silly.
- You treat each other with high regard even in the most difficult of times, and if you blow it, you take full accountability for your actions rather than blaming your partner for your blow-up.
Our world has come to normalize a thousand harmful behaviors between lovers, friends, leaders, and strangers alike, and it’s taking a toll. Remember that you are equal to everyone you meet–as are they. Pay attention to how your words and actions, as well as theirs, are in alignment with this truth
Challenge: If you genuinely believe people are equal—in your home and the world, then remember: absolute equality is a verb. Line up your actions and your spoken beliefs so that they strengthen, not challenge each other.