“People who adopt the worldview that some people are inherently inferior to them for any one of a variety of reasons, including real or supposed intellectual ability, wealth, education, ancestry and the like.” (from the book Untamed by Alan and Debra Hirsch)
Any one of us can be labeled “snob” if that is the case. How many times have I been afraid to relate to someone who is sooooo different than me. How many times have I looked someone over because I was in a hurry. How many times did I forget to invite that ONE person, even though not ill-intentioned, hurting their feelings. How many times have I written a note on someone’s facebook wall only to have others wonder why they weren’t included (the facebook wall is EVIL by the way…) How many times have I stuck to the safety of my own friends because my introverted side wasn’t in the mood. How many times have I looked down on certain types of people that my family or background has engrained in my brain that they are somehow, “less”?
I’ve been on both ends. I’ve been the snob, and I’ve been snobbed. I’ve been accepted and then pushed aside when I haven’t met “standards”, just the same as I have dwelt in the safety of my close friends at the expense of making someone feel welcome. I hate to admit it and I don’t like it one bit. I shudder because it’s the farthest desire of my heart.
“Snobs set the social agenda for all of us, and they are impossible to please. Again, unhappiness is the result.” (Staub)
I have ended up in numerous conversations where gals have been complaining of other females, making them feel inferior. Can I just say if you feel a person or group of people is setting your social agenda, you are giving them that power. To give them the benefit of the doubt, they probably don’t realize you feel that way.
It’s funny because you think after high school this whole “mean girl” scene ends, but it doesn’t. We get “status anxiety” because we feel we’re constantly competing for a certain “place” in the social circle. If we feel we’re on top, we have to fight to stay there. This means having a whole lot of feelings of threat beat against our very fibre when someone new comes into play. For example, when I was in grade five I was labeled the one with the “best hair”…. until Stephanie moved to our school and she took my place. I had some serious character issues to work through at age 10 when that happened.
If we feel we’re at the bottom of the social food chain, we may hide away from others, already assuming no one wants to be around us, robbing many of the beauty within us. We may feel useless and at ease with mediocrity out of fear of being “shot down” by others.
We may feel we’re in the middle, thankful we’re not being eaten alive at the bottom but not quite good enough to be “in”. There’s nothing I hate more than walking into a room full of women and enduring the “checking out” phase. Most of the time, I’ve just finished a dance class or some crazy fitness class with sweat still dripping down my red-flushed face with the sweet smell that accompanies it. That usually puts the other gals at ease. What an awful state of comparison to constantly be in; observing everyone where they are on the totem pole compared to you. Nothing could be further away from the heart of God.
We are to live LOVED and display a different spirit. You can control the way others act, but you can control how you carry yourself. You’re in charge of your heart and how it responds to this demand society places on all of us.
I dare you to rebel against status anxiety and be at ease with who you are. The social totem pole is man made and an illusion, even to those who feel they control it. I dare you to sit with the one who is alone every lunch hour (and not just do it once out of good will). I dare you to cross cultural barriers and get to know the person who lives across the street who is from a whole different nation. I dare you to open your arms to anyone who comes near you (well, maybe don’t LITERALLY do that… ) I dare you to examine the condition of your heart in how you view different people from different background and status’s.
I dare you to ask God to see others through His eyes. I dare you to see yourself through God’s eyes and dwell there in security.
I dare you to live LOVED and show others that love.