New research shows that equality, not other issues, equal the most health and happiness. This new research isn’t shocking news or anything. I’d wager that most people would agree that feeling like an equal does correlate with happier feelings. Still, it’s an interesting issue that should be made more public.
British epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson has been researching healthy vs. non-healthy societies for decades, and recently sat down with YES! Magazine to discuss his findings.
Wilkinson notes that the healthiest societies he’s come across don’t have more income, more education, or more wealth—but the things they do have are more equitably shared. He also points out that inequality is linked to issues such as higher rates of mental illness and drug use, eroding trust and increased anxiety and illness.
I think this is highly relevant research when discussing educational choices. In most cases, conventional schools don’t promote equality. Schools promote adults as better and smarter than youth, bullying as a norm and the school itself as knowing more than parents. The school speaks and everyone must listen. There’s no equal footing. This system truly sets up schools and the people who run them as far more valued than the families who attend them.