Are We All Born Equal?
The short answer: yes, but not the same, not by a long chalk.
All persons have the same qualitative make-up; we are born equal in this respect, as recognized in the values of 'Equality, Fraternity & Brotherhood.' All human beings have the same reflexes, instincts, drives, needs, capacities, and rights; all have the same powers of perception, discrimination, attentiveness, retentiveness, reasoning, and so forth.
The differences between persons are quantitative rather than qualitative. 'Equality' is to do with our qualities, which we all share, but not the degree to which they are developed.
Behavioral psychology has installed the idea that we inherit all of our traits, and besides the modifying effects of cultural conditioning that we stay basically the same as our genetic hard-wiring dictates. That's true if you don't do anything about making positive change, if you don't recognize the aspects of yourself that are more than animal. Recently many have recognized this possibility and they are looking for valid information that can help them make positive changes.
We each differ in the degree of our various spiritual, mental, emotional and physical abilities, and in the manner in which the amounts of the various traits combine in our individuality. A wide range of aptitude, personality, learning and intelligence tests will show differences as high as 25:1 from person to person, with a characteristic bell-shaped distribution curve, in much the same way as physical characteristics are varied.
It is these quantities, which are such an important factor in personal competence, creativity and ultimately our success in life, which personal development aims to increase. It is through our differences that we are able to express our individuality and achieve unique goals. Fortunately it is possible to develop our skills, talents, maturity and intelligence to high degrees, using appropriate techniques.
I feel that it is a mistake to belittle the differences between individuals due to a fear of being seen as judgmental or non-accepting of a person who has little of certain qualities. It is much better to be realistic (that is truly to be non-judgmental and accepting) and recognize the strength and weakness of our various qualities. Then we can take advantage of the opportunities that are available to develop and improve ourselves, toward the goal of fulfilling our potential.