Freedom vs. equality

Consider the following statement:
Parents should work hard to provide their children with the love, care, education, and resources they need, so that they grow into well-adjusted adults and productive members of society, and so that they have the best possible chance at a successful, fulfilling, and happy life.
 Do you agree with this statement? I’d wager that the vast majority of people do.

Next, consider another statement:
All people may not be equal in their innate capabilities or strengths; but all people should be given the same opportunities in life. Every child deserves the same chance at success, fulfillment, and happiness.
I’d guess that most people would agree with this statement too. Now, try to reconcile the two statements. How can every child have the same chance in life if parents struggle to give their children advantages that other children do not have?

Of course, life is about finding the right balance. Here, the balance is between selfishness and altruism, between individualism and collectivism. It’s interesting though that many selfish behaviors that might otherwise be shunned are often forgiven (or even lauded) when they are conducted in the service of one’s offspring.

Selfishness for the sake of one’s children is still selfishness. It is especially important to remember this where collective action is required to tackle a problem that affects the whole community.

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