Society has many ways of determining an individual status in relation with others (wealth, fame, accomplishments, company he/she keeps, etc.). People continuously both consciously and unconsciously place others and themselves in ranking orders. These rules govern most of our choices, influence our approach towards other people and also the way we see ourselves.
We might have some control of the journey through life but ultimately we cannot change our origin or our final fate as inhabitants of mortal bodies. In essence, human life is a gift and must as such be valued equally. The idea of influence or cultural structures is only our attempt to control the environment we live in. These structures however are a necessity for our modern way of life. We seem to confuse the value of human life as something that is directly related to our status and also accept the same treatment when passed down to us. The empowerment you feel when dealing with someone ‘less’ than you and the ‘intimidation’ of meeting with someone more accomplished than yourself has not only been used to determine your position but also how you value yourself and others.
To break free from these constrains we put on ourselves and the limitations pushed down on us, we need to embrace the very simplistic but powerful approach to view all people as equal and still understand the importance of each individuals cultural role without looking at them as more or less than yourself.
This is much easier said than done as these rules are everywhere around us, ignoring the system will cause ripples and although you will feel improvements it might not be understood by everyone. This is a life approach and requires a recalibration of your view on life that filters past the obvious to the smaller almost invisible mannerisms. Evaluate your thoughts and actions that other people don’t see, like what are you thinking when you give money to a beggar or will you open the door at the office for the cleaner as well as the CEO without even thinking about it? The opposite is also true, when you have mastered this you will be able to comfortably function in the presence of someone much higher by social standards because you are not intimidated by it (you understand their role in society without acknowledging it as something that has power over you). Practical skill-sets will still affect your professional profile within an organization or community but after understanding the difference you won’t use this as a validator, either increasing or decreasing your self-worth, but look at people around you as equals no matter of their social standing.