Last year, Can’t Stop the Serenity joined up with Kids Need to Read to give you the chance to win some fabulous prizes in our first ever “Words have the Power to bring about Equality” Writing Contest. We're now very excited to share the winning entry, penned by Stephanie Downes. Thank you to everyone who entered, and congratulations to Stephanie!
Equality. Sort of rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Try saying it. Really try to get your tongue wrapped around those four syllables. Equality. Hmm, it’s a lovely word, like love, or celery. Filled with pleasant harmonics quite regardless of the meaning. Phonaesthetics probably dictate it to be absolutely hideous, but it’s got a quite lovely little tone to it. It’s a pity more people can’t say it and mean it, really; they’re missing out on a phrase to rival “cellar door” in euphony. Because when people say equality, quite often, they don’t mean it.
Equality is another armband to wear to a festival, along with your “Drink ‘til You Fall” shirt and tacky rasta hat. It’s a little like tossing your shrapnel in the charity bucket at the newsagents. That’s your slate clean for another week or two. Ho hum, back to the grind without as much of the gnawing guilt as you just had, look, aren’t I the next Gandhi, I saved a - wait, it might’ve been for some seals that are covered in oil somewhere. But I’m pretty certain it was for blind children! Maybe! I’m pretty certain they were at least young seals! And come on, have you ever had oil in your eyes?
But when people do equality - let me rephrase that in a less grammar-mangling way; when people implement equality - that is when the magic starts to happen.
When people sit up and say “Hey, wait! Why was that man not arrested for this crime? Because he was a man? I’m not standing for this! I’m going to work for a difference!” or “Hang on a moment, that teenager was stoned to death for daring to come out as gay? That’s not fair! I want to go and work with teenagers like that to show them they don’t have to take this!” then, then it becomes more than just a simple word. It becomes a beautiful thing, to roll around the entire universe’s tongue. Ah, it’s a lovely action, like love maybe not celery. That’s more of a vegetable. Really try to wrap your arms around the person next to you, regardless of creed, class, colour, or Cola vs. Pepsi preference. Well, maybe not. Some of us have more space issues than others. Just settle for a smile.
Just because we are all created differently does not mean we should all be treated the same, and Equality Now are helping address that issue. The notion that anybody, from the tiniest baby girl in England to the oldest man in Africa, should be treated different is a notion almost as ridiculous as sprouts being delicious, and EN strive to correct this every step of the way. Now, if only Equality Now could be enacted on some kind of larger sca-... Wait. I think that’s called the world.
And that’s why I support them. I’m one more step towards the entire world holding hands. Only a small step, mind you, but it’s a start. And sometimes, that’s all we need for it to never stop.
We hope that this will inspire you to take that step beyond words and help make equality a tangible thing.