I’m sure you’ve heard the statement, “We are not born hating one another.”  We learn to hate and cultivate our prejudices based on domestication within the familial and cultural structures we were born into. Like sponges, we absorb the opinions and teachings of our parents, guardians, our country and religion of origin.  We are domesticated to believe that something different than what we are initially born into is wrong and is to be feared, even fought against. We are taught, “one must compete for what one wants because there is not enough to go around.”

This belief is then nurtured and relentlessly revisited. It is then proven by one historical and current event of marginalization on top of another, one heart wrenching news story followed by yet another where division and conflict become the common lens through which we see our world. Our collective consciousness creates our collective reality.

And yet, just as we were not born hating others, we were not born thinking of ourselves as unequal.
It was a part of our domestication.
If I am born into a family that abides in socioeconomic conditions of a lower caste population then I will absorb that consciousness. If I am born into a dynasty of power and privilege then I will absorb that consciousness. If I am born into a family that lives in scarcity and fear of never having enough then I will absorb that consciousness. If I am born into a family that thinks you can make of yourself anything that you wish to be then I will absorb that consciousness.
Absorbing it does not determine its permanency. Just like a sponge can be wrung out, any individual may, during the process of their own evolution, empty out their origin of belief and cultivate their own.  A person born in privilege can cultivate a consciousness of despair and lack just as a person born with ‘nothing’ can cultivate a consciousness of prosperity. Whichever field of awareness that I choose to cultivate inwardly becomes my particularized experience outwardly. 
Reality is determined by the individual and their understanding of the power of mind and one’s freedom to use it constructively. I can live in a reality of inequality or a reality of ever unfolding harmony. Different realities, same world, my choice.
You are already equal. You always have been and you always will be.  Whatever you identify yourself as within the classification of race, sexuality, gender, religion or profession, remember that you are equal in every regard – your inherent worth, your personal value as well as all creative and professional rights.
Read that back and then pause for a moment to listen to your internal mind chatter.
Do you hear argumentative sentiments of “No, I’m not.” or “How ridiculous! Just look at our world and how it disproves what you are saying!”
You are certainly not alone if you hear your mind arguing for these statements. You are part of a mass collection of beings who believe their equality and basic human value is first determined by something outside of themselves.

I use to be one of them – the countless many who thought gaining acceptance from the world was the only way to live. It required fueling my outer will power with every imaginable trick in the book of social acceptance to keep that engine running. Eventually I couldn’t sustain it.  The fear of what others might think combined with energy draining shame must eventually break down.
As an ambitious, yet fearful gay man in the mid 1980’s in Los Angeles, I wandered into a meeting facilitated by author Louise Hay. Next I wandered into a Course In Miracles lecture led by author Marianne Williamson. I was invited to attend a service at a New Thought church in West Hollywood and in all of these places, I began hearing how who I was, my essential being, was enough. There was nothing to prove, no worth to beg for, only a responsibility to recognize my personal value and to begin to change my thinking. The love and life I longed for was already a possibility and it was up to me to begin allowing myself to accept those qualities and dissolve my conditioned resistance. I’ve been practicing this way of life for over thirty years now. 
Now, I am in a same-sex bi-racial marriage.  I love my husband and am deeply committed to our relationship. The number one priority we’ve chosen as sacred is the non-negotiable way in which we ‘see’ our union. From the beginning of the relationship, whether our marriage was court sanctioned or not, we began seeing ourselves experiencing the rights and privileges in our minds. And to the degree that we establish these mental rights and privileges is the degree in which we reap the benefits. Our union continues being centered around a spiritual foundation where any and all reality must first have its roots in thought. Outward permission can only follow personal permission. This form of living takes deliberate cultivation and, if either of us deviate, and we do from time to time, there is enough established conscious methodology to course correct without wallowing too long in self imposed victimization or an ‘ain’t it awful’ story.
This is quite the evolution for me. Being born into a religion of fundamentalism, I constantly feared the God of my origin and felt as though my sexual feelings were an abomination. I prayed relentlessly to feel ‘normal’. I was born into that consciousness and over time searched, explored and evolved into a thinking of self love and personal honoring. It began with realizing that the world will treat me exactly as I treat me and to expect anything different than that formula is insanity.
Albert Einstein famously wrote that we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. To fully reap the benefit of that wisdom we must first realize that we accepted/created the belief of ourselves as unequal, incapable, unloveable or unworthy. This is neither a good or bad, right or wrong awareness. It is simply acknowledging that I chose to adopt, co-create and nurture this thought into manifestation. And, because of my inherent free will, I can begin to select a whole new value system.
No more meteors. Our world needs the illumined you.
If we begin this re-cultivating of consciousness within ourselves prior to picking up the gauntlet to help better the world, then our personal imprint will have longevity.
If I know that within me is the most powerful mechanism for individual and global change, an expansion of my belief system, then I can, by my own initiative, be a part of the tidal wave of enlightenment that ripples out and saturates a very thirst riddled world. I can wrap my intentions around personal responsibility and begin altering my own thinking and my own systems of behavior before embarking upon a road of expectation where I demand different thinking and actions from others. I can look at the Golden Rule a little differently and consider “doing unto myself as I would have others do unto me.”
If I bypass this mental work and begin my march into this effectual, problematic world, fighting against the systems of inequality, fighting against the innumerable systemic issues that burden our people, then I will be among the countless human meteors that enter our atmosphere, blazing briefly with noise and flare yet burning out as swiftly as they appear.
Or, I may enter into the world arena with illumined permanency, having made peace with my own inner conflicts, and a continued commitment to forgive myself of my internal devaluing.
You can start right where you are. Simply begin by affirming, “I am enough. I am valued. I am seen and heard. I am respected. I am equal.”  Say it often. Cultivate it as your new normal. Adopt it as an invaluable part of your social activism. You will find more breath, more life and more acknowledgment. Your work will be sustained by vision and wisdom. You will find greater productivity and lasting value in revolutionizing social attitudes and the reward will be experiencing a world that works for everyone.