The plans we construct are where our ideals and our ideas meet the reality of our needs. So much of the success of our plans for the future lies in our evaluation and framing of the challenges we face today. Our daily lives, and the quality of them are not only the starting points for consideration but equally, the ending points that determine the accuracy of our attempts. In our America today, each of us knows how our life feels relative to the way we wanted it to turn out. The distance between these two points is the distance we each must travel to achieve the outcomes we want in the future.
As members of this society, and of the world at large, we share many identical needs. The need for food, shelter, water and opportunity, equal to our capability and never discriminating for a circumstance not of our choosing. We need not compare relative starting points across moments. Our job is not to make each person’s path equal but to ensure that each path is equally possible. Simply by framing this distinction, we lead ourselves to analyze the causes of this inequality of opportunity. The solutions look forward, and in doing so, account for where we begin, and identify the investments required into each of our lives to achieve these goals, consistent with each person’s needs and understanding that for those of us lacking more in opportunity, more will be required of us, and more will be required by other in investment of us. Asking ourselves to face this goal for others, such that they face this challenge for us, demands enormous amounts of discipline, foresight, knowledge, forbearance and trust. Yet, the returns to these traits are equally enormous.
The challenge is admitting that anything less than equality of opportunity, relative to one’s desired outcome is our responsibility. This challenge is framed in the individual experience that we have in America today. We are tasked with asking ourselves the following question: Am I where I want to be? How do I behave with respect to the next person such that the opportunity that I desire or possess is equally available to another.
The practical application of these questions is tangential, but inextricably linked to our highest ideals. Working towards this goal will test every belief we have in the world that gave us birth, to determine whether hope, care and dreams can result from reason, logic and rigorous application of data to the problems we share.