Cyndi Lauper: Why quality of life can bring equality


The singer, songwriter and LGBTQ activist offers a lesson in improving life for the people around you.

CBS News

How to ensure equality for everyone when we're all so diverse and different? A question for our guest contributor Cyndi Lauper, the singer and co-founder of True Colors, an advocacy group for homeless LGBT youth: 

For me equality has always been plain and simple. "You either are or you aren't, Blanche," to kind of quote one of my favorite Bette Davis lines.  

I had the opportunity to be on the same planet with a lot of inspiring people who actually did change my life, and the lives of the people I love, through their work for equality.

Singer and activist Cyndi Lauper attends the 2012 NYC Pride March in New York City. Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic

There were many great civil rights leaders, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Harvey Milk. I could go on.  And Maya Angelou -- where would I be without her books?

So today, I was talking to my husband about equality, and he said, "Why don't you just drop the E and emphasize the word quality? Maybe by just concentrating on making the quality of life better for people around you, you might naturally end up with greater equality."

So that got me thinking how right he is -- that he's really just talking about the old Sunday school lesson they beat into you at Catholic school: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Or better still, if you want people to listen, you've got to listen to them.

And let's not forget my favorite: What's good for the goose is good for the gander. 

So, I think today I will emphasize the word "quality" rather than discuss the word "equality," because maybe less talk and more quality caring might lead us to do more action. 

And everyone knows action speaks louder than words, right? Be it in sports, or in family, hey, even in romance. Like I had to tell my first boyfriend, "You gonna stand around all night, or you gonna do something? 'Cause I got things to do."

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