We live in a world where once you leave school or college you are defined by “what you do” or more precisely what your profession is.
Occupation stratifies us into a hierarchy of social status with rich people at the top and poor people at the bottom.
Philosopher and founder of The School Of Life Alain De Botton describes how this modern capitalist obsession with economic status is a recipe for depression and deep dissatisfaction. Most of us are unable to bring our true richness of character and personality in line with our business card. Our jobs rarely, if ever, fully reflect who we are as people but merely a small part of ourselves which is publicly on view.
Yet the market based capitalist machine only recognises outward financial, external achievement. Yet most of us carry all kinds of richness which we are unable to translate into quantifiable monetary terms leaving us feel dissatisfied because our human talents are not profitable.
The antidote to overcoming debilitating anxiety around status is to recognise the value of our non monetary goods. Such as being a good friend, being an honest person or being someone who cares for their community and environment around them.
These are incredibly valuable traits and we should look to judge ourselves and the people around us on a comprehensive complete analysis and not narrow the lens of social status to be based on economic output!