There is an unfortunate tendency in our society to focus on social class and egoism. While I completely understand the differences and needs of particular social classes and the importance of individualism, when it comes to our society working together for good these tendencies cause problems.
In the study of society, or sociology, differences in society are categorized as class, race, gender and geographic location. These differences affect how people can access resources and opportunities. (Reference: What are social divisions?)
Social divisions stem from the idea that society is separated into the powerful and powerless. Those in lower socioeconomic classes have fewer opportunities for things like education, health care and employment. Those in higher socioeconomic classes have an abundance of pretty much everything. (Reference: What are social divisions?) For far too long, our society has valued the upper socioeconomic classes such as doctors and lawyers and undervalued the lower socioeconomic classes such as fast food workers and janitors. But the truth of the matter is, we can’t have one without the other.
(Celebration by Diamante Lavendar)
It is an inconceivable notion that some people are more important than others in a society that hopes to accomplish its very best in the given moment. Yes, doctors and lawyers are important. But if society valued all walks of people more, perhaps lawyers and doctors would be in lesser demand because there would be less fighting and stress! Who would clean the rooms and hallways of the hospitals if everyone were a doctor? Who would prepare gourmet or classic meals, create beautiful pieces of art to appreciate or music to calm the senses? Who would make sure the factories worked correctly and that we had safe water, pipes, heat, electricity, running vehicles and amusement parks to occupy ourselves? It takes all of us to create a happy whole.
Democracy is defined as “a system of government by the whole population through elected representatives”. (Dictionary.com). Are we truly being aptly represented by our officials? Everyone matters. Every life is important. It is a travesty and a shame when some are deemed more useful than others. Even in the Bible it says, “There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body…..if all parts were the same, how could there be a body?” (1 Cor. 12:12 and 19).
We all matter. Our lives matter. Our souls matter. Our means of living matter. When we are each contributing positively to the value of the whole, who can truly say one is more important or meaningful than the other? Deep down, we all need the same things and crave the same things. I believe it’s time to value the parts of society contributing to the sum of our society’s parts. Even Aristotle said, “Mathematically, the whole is equal to the sum of its parts, neither more nor less.” Then psychological Gestalt theory took it a step further, stating that “The parts, when working together, are able to achieve an outcome superior to one or two people working alone.” (PubMed.gov: The whole is more than the sum of its parts: Aristotle, metaphysical).
I know Aristotle was onto something but I believe the Gestalt theory summed it up beautifully. If everyone worked together in harmony and synchrony, wow, what an amazing society this would be!