I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the cult/culture of elitism.
The entire premise of elitism is hierarchy.
Those who are “elite" are presumed to be better than those that are not. Those who aren’t “elite” often feel "less than” their counterparts.
An Ivy League degree makes you more elite.
A larger bank account makes you more elite.
A more successful career makes you more elite.
In my high school, college, and early career years, I very much bought into this belief system.
Over the last 15 years, I’ve systematically moved away from this culture.
I’ve had too many mentors that never finished high school or college.
I’ve worked with too many people who graduated from so-called “no name” state universities that were phenomenal CEOs, bosses, and colleagues.
I’ve had many friends whose incomes are near the poverty line whose company and friendship I’ve very much enjoyed.
I’ve found the elitism culture far too limiting.
If you’re successful within the culture, you overlook the opportunities to connect with, learn from, and befriend people who don’t fit the traditional “elite” criteria.
If you aren’t elite but desire to be, be careful to avoid undervaluing your inherent worth as a person and the worth of others around you.
Sure, there’s value and benefit to being successful. However, in my view, the value it brings is not nearly as all-encompassing as many make it out to be.
In place of seeing people through the lens of elitism, I now prefer to see people as individuals.
I like associating with people who are respectful, kind, and authentic with me.
I prefer to avoid interacting with people who are disrespectful, cruel, and pretend to be someone they are not.
These attributes tend to be independent of wealth, success, and status.
I’m not advocating that you see the world as I do. However, I am advocating that you examine and consciously choose the lens by which you see the people around you.
If you don’t pick the culture you want to live by, the culture you happen to be most familiar with will pick itself for you.