Have you ever operated a balance?
I remember going to the market, as a child and, later as a student at university. I would marvel as the vendors expertly tossed the produce on one tray of the scale and, without a second thought, would toss the weights in the other to strike the balance. Next, before I could even read the weight, they would quickly remove the produce, parcel it, declare the weight and the corresponding price…let’s not even get to the speedy calculation of the price – that challenged my arithmetical skills!
Have you never marvelled at the alacrity of the transaction? That speed comes from a place of experience, of practice, of a trained eye. The pace of the vendor even comes from a place of a trained hand, for, for having been at their trade all the years, their hands have developed a built-in scale so that, no sooner do they take hold of the produce than they have a sense of the weight. So, honestly, when they drop the weights on the scale, it’s really just to satisfy you, the customer, that what they have already calculated as the weight is correct. The weighing is really for the customer. However, they must go through that process of proving, of doing the work, so that you have faith.
Of course, on the less philosophical side, the speed of the vendor is also a function of their drive to transact more sales during the day.
I want to return your focus, though, to the experience of the vendor, the experience that allows the vendor to take a look at the produce, or to take a hold of the produce and to make a calculation of the weight required to balance the scale. With that trained eye or hand, the vendor quite expertly determines what is the weight on which they must depend in order to bring about equity on the scale.
Therein lies the crux of my message to you this week: equity in dependence.
Last week, I spoke of recognising that freedom, far from highlighting our independence, pronounces our state of being in dependence. This week, I’d like to lead you to discover that in dependence lies equity.
Just as the market vendor determines the weight required to bring equity between the two sides of the scale, our acknowledgement of our dependence on others, notwithstanding our independence or freedom, drives us to pursue equity in society. My dependence on you is the ‘weight’ on the one tray of the ‘balance’; the equity that must exist in our relationships is the ‘produce’ on the other tray of the ‘balance’. The relationship that we build together is the ‘weight’ required for balance between the two sides. Do you catch my drift?
Might one extrapolate that if I’m not dependent on you, there’s no need for equity? One might. One would be equally naïve, however, to believe that anyone is fully independent of another. What’s more, equity is not something that can be pursued in pockets. We either pursue it, or we do not. We cannot pursue it in one community, but not in another. For example, are we really striving for equity if we pursue it in the workplace, but not at home? Equity is a mindset that, in order for it to be ‘set’, needs to be pursued in all things.
So, my simple exhortation as we delve into our freedom, and are daily reminded of our state of in dependence: may we strive always for equity. As we strive always for equity, like the market vendor in our scene, we develop the skill to determine effortlessly what is required to preserve that equity.
Equity, we might consider a bit like charity: we pursue it in all things. As ends one of my favourite quotes: ‘in all things, charity’. And after all, who can obtain equity, without charity?
I bid you love, peace and joy, as I leave you with the full quote below: