Status is a tricky subject. No one wants to admit it these days but our entire system, society, government, and economic structure is privy to the ability and utility of status. Some may not like it and I understand why. Status suggests a hierarchy with few at the top and many on the bottom. In today’s world, that is not a sentiment we like to acknowledge and something every facet of our people are trying to rage against in order for societal change. However, it’s not going anywhere.
Status, status symbols, rankings (fill in the blank) are a thing of every civilization in every culture. That is not conjecture, it is fact. If you have the privilege of a higher status, whether earned or bestowed upon you, there is a way to utilize such status to elevate others. It doesn’t need to be through a huge platform or a mention at a large event or broadcast. It doesn’t need to be a huge donation (damn would that be nice though). You can help update the “status” of anyone with a very simple, public gesture; acknowledgment.
I do a lot of my own study and research of personal matters of interest. Over the last year, my focus has been directed at understanding warriors of past, present, and, now that I think about it, maybe future warriors. Being a warrior is a status symbol in any society. I know people now call themselves warriors by simply surviving life and their experiences but that is not a true warrior, in my eyes. It is also not about the battle, though there should be one.
Being a warrior is about the self-discipline, commitment, and dedication. A warrior performs their duties day in and day out in service, training, always prepared and steadfast in their approach. It is a fascinating topic that I may write more about one day. That is not the crux of this article. What I have noted about warriors, however, is the deliberate use of acknowledgement and the power it wields. Acknowledgment is a sign of respect, a tool of advancement, a validation of another, and a humbling of oneself; the one who does the acknowledging and the individual who is acknowledged.
Imagine you have a position of clout or say so (hell, maybe you already do and this is directly speaking to you). When you walk in the room people know who you are and fumble at their tables trying to figure out how to approach you. Some of those folks may even be too nervous or anxious to ever say hello. This status doesn’t just belong to celebrities, musicians, motivational speakers, and professional athletes. This could be the CEO of the company, the Regional Manager, the local drug dealer, the number one sales associate, or the Head Volunteer at the local hospital. You know when you are that person in the room and if you have never been that person, you know what it feels like to be in a room with that individual.
Should that “superstar” walk into a place for the first time and see a familiar face, acknowledging that familiar face immediately updates that person’s status, whether you like that reality or not. Should they not see a familiar face but recognize an outstanding effort or act in line with their values, it is highly recommended to acknowledge such. It shows respect for that individual, from the “superstar.” It advances and enhances the status of that familiar face or stranger. It validates to everyone in the room that the individual is “in the know.”
The most beautiful aspect of such a deadly societal construct and evolutionarily necessary adaptation we have created in status is that it shows the humility of the “superstar,” and the recipient is given the opportunity to reciprocate said humility by treating the interaction as it is, a interaction with another human being; no better, no less than oneself.
This is the deep reflection, careful thought put into, and deliberate action of acknowledgment among warriors. Status, hierarchies, and rankings will always be around no matter what modality of political, economic or social constructs in play. If it is a permanent fixture in the human experience, why not use it to elevate others as opposed to the aloof attitude, which is worse than the deliberate furthering to separate the have from the have-nots