On Status

If you and I were to design a society right now, how would that society assign status to a person?

It feels to me that the way in which we assign status in society is unhealthy. Therefore, the chasing of status ends up damaging us.

I suspect that we would choose things that we admire to confer status.  Does that sound right?

I think that deep expertise in a profession that generates true societal value would be high on our rankings.

The people who put their life and health on the line would be way up there.  Nurses, doctors, soldiers, the police etc.

The type of professions that help us all move forward in a more noble manner.  

It seems like we might choose elite teachers to be more highly valued than elite athletes.  Scientists would be more highly valued than reality TV stars. 

The compensation, fame and admiration in our system, I suspect, would correspond to our new status rankings.

That seems right.

Where would a big, fancy house be on our list of things to give status to a person?

How about luxury or sports cars?  Would owning them move someone up notches on our status ladder?

How about being born with the type of genes that makes you beautiful or handsome? 

Wearing the fanciest clothes or newest styles? 

I suspect that they would not.

In our newly designed world, do you think that who The Rock endorsed for President would make the news?

In our world, as it is today:  

Are you impressed by the cars that your friends drive?  

What about the person driving next to you on the freeway, does their vehicle impress you?

Are you impressing the strangers that drive past / next to you on the road with the extra money that you spent on your car?

Is your house impressing the people that drive by and/or visit you? 

Do any of these things impress you more than kindness, wisdom, presence, knowledge, humor, or joy?

What if rather than redesigning society, each of us just started to act like we had?  We could think about the things that we truly value in others, and confer status accordingly.  My guess.  The world would be just a little bit better place.

What if, rather than redesigning society, each of us just stopped chasing status in unimportant things?  We could think about the things that we truly value in others…  kindness, wisdom, presence, knowledge, humor, joy etc…  and we could pursue those traits for ourselves instead.  That would be another step toward a better world.  

That’s what I am going to do.

Just my opinion.  What do you think?

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