Every Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!
Drizzt Do’Urden on Equality
For those who don’t know, Drizzt Do’Urden is a chracter from a fantasy series by R.A. Salvatore set in the “Forgotten Realms.” Drizzt is a Dark Elf who rejected the evil ways of his race and went to the surface in order to avoid their constant attempts to kill him. The books are mostly made up of standard swords and sorcery types of action, but there are occasional thoughtful interludes. In one, Salvatore, writing as Drizzt, discusses the concept of “equality” and how it might best be done:
Beware the engineers of society, I say, who would make everyone in all the world equal. Opportunity should be equal… but achievements must remain individual. – Drizzt Do’Urden (572, cited below)
I found this a fairly poignant statement in the midst of what is generally “light” reading for me. In our world, we have all kinds of inequality: there is income inequality, racial inequality, and all kinds of other ills. But a world in which all inequality is eliminated would be horrifying. In such a world, how could we appreciate things like sports, for all people would be forced to perform at the same level? How could we appreciate heroism? Moral fortitude? Any number of “inequalities” are actually good things. I couldn’t code a program to save my life; thank goodness people who are unequal to me at coding are in charge of maintaining this website!
The quote, then, has several subtle messages in it. I think it is worth Christians contemplating on. We should be working to reduce the inequalities of opportunity. People should not be unable to pursue their God-given gifts simply because of their circumstances. But we must beware the danger of trying to crush all inequality and make the world into a sea of sameness.
What are your thoughts? What inequalities should me most actively be working to combat? Is it true that opportunity should be equal?
Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)
R.A. Salvatore, Streams of Silver in The Legend of Drizzt, Book II (Wizards of the Coast, 2013).