Before you read the rest of the post, please note that this post covers a resentful thought of mine. That’s why so far I always keep it to myself, and share it only to a few people. But I am worried, and not feeling comfortable with it.
So, here goes the premise:
Under the same circumstances, the bigger the contribution a person gives, the bigger the importance of that person’s existence.
The example is simple. An MIT professor’s existence is much more worthy than that of a professor at any university in my home country, since generally her/his research results are of much better quality and more widely published, thus more beneficial to the society. The implementation varies depending on the field you are at, but the idea is the same: be an Albert Schweitzer, be a Mother Teresa, be a Stephen Hawking, be a Richard Stallman, be a Muhammad Yunus.
This idea, however, brings unpleasant consequences if you fully adhere to it. Firstly, you are prone to depression, moreover if you cannot achieve your idealised goal. Secondly, you tend to underestimate other people whose, let’s say, position is lower than you. I would like to bring this article to your attention, but it was actually her fault for being ill-mannered. Thirdly, you will enforce this idealism to your peers, who might disagree with you. Indeed contributing to the society is good, but does s/he really want to maximise it? Fourthly, you cannot appreciate other’s works, especially those which might look small to you, but are very precious to them. People who can get out of poverty by their own hands are heroes to themselves.
About this issue, my friend argues that:
Every person deserves equal rewards, regardless how big her/his contribution is.
Life is complementary.
Religiously speaking, Jesus himself asserted this when he said (please read the whole passage to get the idea what his saying is about):
“But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10: 42
But I can’t find what my friend said convincing. I have no sentiment towards communism, but the better person should deserve more reward, or essentially possess a more important existence. And yes life is complimentary, but the dirty works should be left to machines, so that we humans can fully concentrate on innovations. And regarding the Bible passage, to me hearing Jesus’ words and preparing meals for the guests are of almost the same importance, so it’s not that it is related to what I am concerned of.
I don’t like elitism. I want every person to be equal, whatever s/he does as long as s/he complies with the law and norms. I want to believe in egalitarianism, but I am stuck within this idea of elitism. Unless I can disprove it, I am doomed to mind-blowing experiences.
UPDATE: This Greg Mankiw’s article somehow attracts my attention. To cite his sentence a little bit,
“Saint Peter will not judge you solely by checking the Social Science Citation Index.”