Equality of opportunity and equality of outcome are not the same. Equality of opportunity says that we all have the same opportunity while equality of outcome says that we can all be equally wealthy. This book illustrates the difference between the two very well, going on at length as to why the difference matters.
Given an equal opportunity, not everyone is willing to put in the effort required in order to reach the same level of wealth. Some people are happy with less, while others are driven for more; all of this is perfectly normal. The issue is that everyone now wants to have the same outcome regardless of how much energy they contribute. Rather than try, people rather find a reason why society should bow before them and give them what they want.
We have become blind to our emotions, we have lost the ability to think critically and discuss with people with whom we disagree. Rather than have the argument and prove that our point is the correct perspective or have our point disproved, we rather hide away and associate only with people that share our point.
Hiding makes us vulnerable to any opinion that is contrary to our own to the point where many of us are likely to throw a tantrum when something offensive is said. A tantrum does not solve our problem, it is fake anger that simply distracts us from our ever-growing pile of problems.
One of the most meaningful quotes I have stumbled upon is:
“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”G. Michael Hopf
We are the weak men creating hard times. We don’t know hard times so the difficulties we face seem to us to be insurmountable obstacles. We can get over this, but it will take effort. We must “callus our minds” as David Goggins put it in Can’t Hurt Me when he talks about accomplishing what seems impossible.
Trigger warnings prevent us from forming these calluses. Life is not always a box of fluffy ducks. The more we censor what hurts us, the easier it will be for our feelings to be hurt.
We must speak the truth, even if it hurts. There are other ways to look at the world and some of them are valid. However, we must accept the provable facts as the facts that they are regardless of feelings getting hurt in the process.
I deeply enjoyed the book. Especially because I disagree with Dr. Saad on some key points, particularly immigration. I believe it should be easier for people to work in different countries and that borders inhibit both those within and without the country from having a better life. I would be happy to discuss this with him if I ever had the chance.
It is specifically because I disagreed with many of the things that he says that I was so interested in his argument. My feelings on critical issues are not immutable, and he changed my mind on a few things. His arguments were valid and well reasoned whereas mine were purely based on my emotional connection to the matter at hand.
This book thought me to disconnect my emotions from my opinions and to look more closely at the facts surrounding the topic at hand. Particularly with the current situation as we get out of a pandemic and are on the brink of a global war, it is more important than ever that we be driven by facts and reason rather than by emotions.