a discourse on equality

we here hold this truth self-evident
each life is born, created equal
worthy, whatever their words or deeds
to be adjudged equally under law

this, our constitution guarantees
as a birthright of its independence
an endowment of opportunity
eschewing lawlessness and oppression

therein lay the best of the principle
the even field for each to venture on
with protections both by and from
the government chosen to ensure it

what more serves a free society?
what value is it to hold one person’s worth
should not, regardless of their abilities
be thought more highly in some respect?

and of those abilities, what stirs them?
what inspires the best within us
if not the challenge, the competition
the chance to fail, and rise, and seek success?

what are hopes and dreams without this?
without the triumph over struggle
revealing we were more than we were told
perhaps more than we had dared to think

where do we dare so now, in this climate
so consciously cautious of any offense
where all who compete are called winners
for fear their fragile psyches fall to reality

where your race, your gender, or your creed
is spoken of before your skill or intellect
where your politics are the issue
rather than your ethics or leadership

pity those truly great today, yet unknown
whose gifts, unintentionally suppressed
by the civility of our correctness
lay dormant beneath entitlements

their potential, the wealth of a nation
divided by its lowest denominator
and squandered by misguided adherence
to ideals meant for its enhancement

for equality at birth and at law
is a right, serving all as it serves one
but equality in endless forms thereafter
ignores the best of our humanity

those skills, those gifts, acquired and revealed
through the trials and tribulations
of a life, not always fair, but enough
that true talent might rise to lift all

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