The society focuses so much on us as individuals, blaming us for the conditions in our lives then forgets about the forces at work against us to succeed in life.
It has an outright role to play in the molding of our lives, but it is only to a certain extend. It defines us through our ego and determines our destiny. However, whether or not one can rise from poverty to riches does not depend on the circumstances around him/her alone, but also on the potential within the individual. It is the ability and will to succeed in life that matter. There may be challenges on the way, but when taken positively, challenges prepare us as we move towards our destiny.
The society forces us to give in to the notion that the elite few; the rich, are there to rule and the poor will always be there, causing some of us to shut the door of opportunities to success. How should we then strike a balance between the structural arrangements and our efforts to make the best of our lives?
The wealth and income inequalities undeniably affect and dictate the economic structure of any society together with its social framework. It is interesting how the relationship between these areas change over time, shaping a certain society into different groups and classes of individuals. An imbalance of opportunities and resources arises posing more questions than answers in general. No human being is an island; we live in a society. This is a fact I am fully aware of, bearing in mind that the society’s role is significant. My sense of worth comes from a set of standards the society has laid down for me. In creating my status symbols, those things that characterize my identity and my surrounding had the greatest impact.
The symbols had to distinguish me from other people. Just like the rich have a way of defining their own standards, creating standards, which distinguish themselves from the rest. This includes what to drive, the suburb to live, clothing, housing, and all other aspects concerning lifestyles. The wealthy dictate what fashion is, and what is not in fashion. Nevertheless, as an individual, fitting in such a lifestyle disparity, presents the ultimate consequence of wealth inequality. There is and should always be a limit to the extent the society influences my attitude, will to succeed, and ultimately destiny.
It may have tremendous pressure on me as an individual in my journey to join the elite in the society. In fact, there are circumstances beyond my effort, but this does not mean I relinquish my ability to succeed. The society presents inequality in resource distribution, with the rich seemingly being favored. I find personal identification to be of crucial importance in overcoming all forms of inequalities. Social inequality defines people into categories or classes, mostly based on their economic status, political inclination, and education. My personal identification is the only tool that can surpass any of these challenges. It determines whether I will succumb to any class prejudice regardless of my current position.
This kind of approach is vital in mitigating the socioeconomic inequalities in our societies. It is of no use to have amidst us, people going hungry while others have immense wealth within our reach. Although not all of our lives can be the same, the inequalities can be minimized if the society became more selfless. To put in a simple and clear illustration; no one can travel in two cars at the same time, or sleep on two bedrooms at the same time. Therefore, this demonstrates the importance of defining who we are, and what we need in life.
Failing to do that, implies we will grab whatever we can get our hands on just because we think we need it, even if we do not. The result is the emergence of extremely wealthy people in the society while others suffer. I cannot escape the inevitability of social inequality, but the beliefs it comes with, are not to instill despair or drive me into a comfort zone, a state that stops any progress and compounds the issue of inequality. The society maybe capitalistic; nevertheless, this should act as a form of positive competition towards equality. In a capitalistic society, the means of production are privately owned by a few while the majority works for them. The owners have right to protection of their properties. Whether I own any means of production or I am just an employee, success depends on the extent of what I achieve rather than wanting to have more than others do.
Wanting to have more than others opens the door for greed, which later on, destroys the balance of class on the society, inclining it at an acute angle of both social and economic inequality.
Structural arrangements are not to be ignored. The status segregation created within the society is a fundamental truth we can also not ignore. The wealthy have a way of stereotyping the low class as part of their property; people of another species or having no right whatsoever, to be like them. To them, being unable to make much out of life is a consequence of not putting enough effort. The rich know how to become rich and maintain wealth.
They own the means of production, and the poor are part of that. If the poor get rich, no one would work for them. To some extent, it is a question of morality. A small percentage of the rich own more than they need at the expense of others, hence the issue of societal inequality is a matter of morals.