Divining Humanity

Seek The Essense Of Humanity


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PARSING MY MIND – Part IV (Social Status)

PREVIOUS PARTS

PARSING MY MIND – Part I (The American Girl)

PARSING MY MIND – Part II (The Slavic (Russian/Ukrainian) Girl)

PARSING MY MIND – Part III (My Type Of Girl)

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My life in many ways is an Encyclopedia of Experiential Knowledge...

And this Chapter is labeled…

CHAPTER ___ – SOCIAL STATUS

Background

I have come to understand that I believe in a social hierarchy.

I was born into an American (upper) middle class family and since my father was in the military I soon became acquainted with idea of “hierarchy”.  I learned that I was not the center of the universe and that there were those who “outranked” me… Parents, teachers, etc. (even if I and my sister required the lion share of family resources…)

Sports reinforced this lesson.  The coaches were “gods.” If they said, “Jump!” the correct response was “how high?”

Then I joined the military myself (Academy cadet and later an officer).  Which only further reinforced the idea of hierarchy and the associated status.  But I also learned another lesson… there are expectations tied to the level one occupies within the hierarchy.

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Currently, I occupy two different positions as far as social status is concerned.  At my work for a very wealthy family, I am the governor of the family’s son.  I am a servant… but also a specialist and since I interact directly with one of the family members, among the staff, I occupy an important servant position…

Yet, I am consciously and continuously remind myself that I am only a servant and therefore second class when compared to family members… (I am “the hired help.”)

BUT… my salary is good. Once I walk out of the doors of that home, my social status changes.  Social status is very connected to the amount of money that a person spends (or more accurately how much money others believe that you can spend).

My current income places me in the American upper middle class… but compared to many Russian of lesser means I actually spend less.  (I’m thrifty… What can I say? 😛 ). But even so, I spend enough to look well off (I think) within Russian society…

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I have learned something from my job(s).  I see how the “rich” act and I believe that I will never achieve that social status, because I don’t have the “correct” attitude.  Even if I was to become a multimillionaire, I have understood that I will always spend much more conservatively than I could afford to spend.

I have my expensive “trinkets” (for me they are expensive)… The most advanced Samsung 10.1 Note, the most expensive iPhone on the mainstream market, a $250 watch (again expensive for me…), etc.  But you will rarely see me order the most expensive items on a restaurant menu and see me uneasy about paying for a $5 beer in Vegas… (It’s hard for me to justify paying more for something at one place, “simply because I want it.” when I can get the same or similar someplace else for less… even if I can easily afford it!)

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And then there is the “sacrifice”…

I’ve been around very economically successful people. I’ve observed them, I’ve listened to their conversation, and I’ve even talked to some.  What I have understood is that most rich people work VERY long hours. I currently work about 45 hours a week (and use 10 – 12 hours for my commute).  That’s less than 60 hours per week.

The wealthy often end up in very nice places, but they can work more than 100 hours per week and are never really “disconnected” from their work!

I know that I don’t want this type of life!  As much as I enjoy my work I:

Work to live not Live to work.

(And I don’t really have a reason to work “harder” except for the fear that I might not be able to continue my current type of job (and salary level) in the future).

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There are times, when I’m the servant in a room full of the affluent that I wish that I was mingling with them… but then I remind myself that though, I feel “equal” to them in intellect and capability, I don’t have the desire to whittle down my own personal life time just to recognized as one of “them.”

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Anyways, I’ve learned the nature of power.

Power is the ability to make others do what you want them to do.  Sometimes the servant wields just as much or more power than his or her master…

As long as I can get my primary goals met… I will happily be the dutiful servant… But once their goals and/or expectations conflict with my most important goals, then I will search for a new master…