We live in a world of class separation. Sure, it’s a heck of a lot more politically correct and subtle than it used to be, but it’s still there; loitering, lingering, blowing some people’s egos up and trampling on the confidence of others. At its core, class separation is just one person thinking they are better than another. Often because of things that are out of one’s control, like their upbringing and family’s financial circumstances.
I find it fascinating that money and education can give people feelings of superiority. Working in support positions in the corporate world means I’ve experienced much of this. No, I don’t have a degree, but it doesn’t mean I’m any less worthy of respect than the person with a doctorate who’s sitting next to me.
Money makes the world go ‘round, indeed, but it can also do damaging things to a person’s pride. Whether it was earned by hard work or inherited, wealth doesn’t change the worth or value of a person. Neither does skill or education. And neither does good life choices, where is where my pride has tripped me up.
A friend of mine has made some really bad choices in their lifetime, and sadly it’s cost her. Though I could have gone down the same path, I decided to go another way. I made different decisions, though often times harder to follow through with. I’m still doing my best to this very day, with many failings behind me, but I’m proud of where I’ve come.
And slowly but surely, something happened while we were choosing to live in very different ways; I started to think I was better than my friend. And that I was invincible and powerful and wonderful. That because I hadn’t succumbed and lost my life to drugs, alcohol and sex the way she had, I was somehow a better person and I had more to give to the world. As if I won a competition that neither of us had signed up for.
What a sweet scented trap that I fell right into. I believed a lie and I dread to think that she believed it too.
I hope that she didn’t believe that because I have a good life, which is purely by the grace of God and nothing else, that she isn’t equal to me. I pray she didn’t, or doesn’t believe that her words, thoughts and actions don’t have the same power and capabilities as mine. It hurts me to think I ever made someone feel less than they are. I don’t have any right to.
Because I’m not better than anyone and no one is better than me. We are all cut from the same cloth. We are all the same, but with a different set of challenges, circumstances and cultures to face. Some of us may be more privileged but that doesn’t actually mean anything of value. Regardless of what we have, achieved or overcome, no person is looked on as greater by God. God doesn’t have favourites, which is hard to believe, because we as humans love favourites. But when you strip back all of the extras that modern society deem important, you’ve got a very equal human race.
All with insecurities, fears and imperfections. Maybe with a different outer appearance or a different bank account figure, but all the same.
If a group comprising of a Muslim, a Christian, a politician, a doctor, a homeless person, a white British and an African American were all stranded on an island together, they would not be looking down on each other. They wouldn’t be discussing their jobs, how much they earned or how knowledgeable they were on a particular topic. They would be banding together, trying to survive.
But we aren’t on a deserted island. We are in a (somewhat) civilized society, all mixed up into a contrastingly beautiful melting pot. We have people who have cheated, lied, and abused themselves and others. We have others who have worked hard for their family and done good to the people they’ve met. But no one is perfect, and no one is devoid of fault. Therefore no one person is better than another.
We are all the same and it’s about time we all acted like it.
Do you recognise yourself or others in these words? Which end have you been on? Share in the comments.