Being equal isn’t the same as being even. You can be equal in stature — though not in ability. The opportunity of freedom can be equal for everyone; but this does not guarantee (or require) equality of outcome.
Many people are dishonest about these facts. They resent the fact that they aren’t as capable or successful as others, in some respect. Instead of owning this feeling and stating it outright, they complain that things aren’t fair; or that equality has in some sense been denied.
This is perhaps the single greatest evil of our age. People are allowed to claim injustice when in fact : Some people are simply smarter than others. This is like holding a race and when the fastest runner wins, complaining that the rules were rigged — since everyone didn’t win.
None of us can be the best at everything. Most of us aren’t the best at anything. “Best” implies a tiny minority. That’s OK, and that’s how it is. If you are the best, you’re simply being yourself. If you aren’t the best, the world is still a better place than if everyone had the same (low or moderate) level of ability. The world rises or falls on the ability of the best to be the best. Why not applaud them rather than resent, criticize, or despise them?
America was a special place, because more than any other civilization in human history, the best were celebrated and honored. They weren’t rewarded so much as allowed to be free to enjoy the consequences of their efforts and abilities. America is still like that in a few respects — sports, for example — but for the most part America is no longer like that. We seek to not merely “spread the wealth” but to punish success for daring to rise above the pack. Many of us speak and act as if abilities somehow should be “spread” around, as if excellence could be diluted and distributed among the masses. All I can say is the masses are in for a tough time when the able are no longer allowed to be able.