Hierarchy: a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority. This is important in places like the military, business firms, federal agencies, and clubs. Hierarchies have no place in social interactions. When it comes to the human species one does not rank above the other. All humans are equal. We do elect officials, but this does not put them above us. Some of us go to college while others are content with a GED. Both are just as equal. Some of us work in a maze of cubicles while others work on sewage systems. The list of comparisons can go on and on.
Somewhere we have built this idea that it is alright to judge others. Maybe it was when we were children and we first started making friends. We compared each others families and exchanged lessons learnt. If someone showed signs of knowing less than the majority, we labeled them as dumb. If someone thought different than the majority, they were wrong. Logic as a child is very simple. It’s not always correct, but it is very simple. It surprises me how much of that logic has transpired to adulthood. Let’s imagine we wanted to take a CPR class. One instructor is wearing a nurses scrub and the other is wearing a white t-shirt and overalls. Which instructor has more knowledge on CPR? Deductive reasoning would say the instructor in scrubs. What if we learnt that the instructor in scrubs has just graduated high school and the instructor in overalls has 30 years practice as a heart surgeon? Which instructor has more knowledge on CPR? We do this on a daily basis. We prejudge people before we know who they are. This prejudging is what leads to our social hierarchy.
If we want to stop social hierarchy, we need to start with ourselves. We need to control our thoughts and actions before we even think of dictating to others. It’s not easy to change. It starts with a deliberate act of change. Then that change is repeated until it becomes a normal reaction. Checks and balances are put in place to make sure we do not slip or falter. This is how we stop social hierarchy. We insure we see everyone as equal. Will changing our action stop others from acting in a certain manner? Perhaps. We are mentors to more people than we realize. People size us up all the time. They watch our actions and see the consequences of our actions. They watch us reap what we sow.
I am asked why I am so happy all of the time. Truth is, I’m not happy all of the time, just most of the time. The reason for my happiness comes from how I treat others. I make sure the people I work with have at least one person greeting them with a smile; especially on a Monday. I talk to the janitor just as I do the skipper. I greet my E-1 airmen just as I greet my Chiefs. There should never be a difference based on class, rank, job, religion, or creed. No one is better than I am, and I am better than no one. Take the time to make this a 30 day challenge. For 30 days look at everyone equal. Treat everyone equal. It’s harder than one may think. It may take a week to get the hang of it, but it’s worth it. One more catch; do not expect the same treatment back. We are responsible for our actions only. However, it is fun to watch the reactions.
Thanks for taking the time to read, and may we always be on the same level.