What is this thing called status? Why is it so important, who made up the rules, and why are we following them?
It seriously baffles me. My dad couldn’t have cared less about social or economic status. He just wanted people to love his stories and think he was wonderful! I guess I really am “cut from the same cloth,” and that’s one of the reasons I’m so fulfilled in my job as a K-5 music teacher. I love to be entertaining and kids love being entertained!😆 Just listen to my stories and songs, enjoy them and sing with me and you’re my best friend for life! But status? Humph!
I find status driven people are always getting offended. “I wasn’t treated the way I should have been,” or “I wasn’t recognized in the appropriate fashion.” One important lesson I’ve learned in therapy is if you’re feeling offended, you’re the one with the issue. Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements spells this out clearly.
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
(Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.)
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always try your best.
Walking around this world expecting superior treatment is definitely going to lead to disappointment and offense. How about changing our perspective to “How can I be a blessing to whomever I encounter?” Jesus washed his disciples filthy feet, even as they protested, and He preached, “blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth” and “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” Why then do I constantly think I deserve to be seated at the head table and feel offended if I’m not?
I will say I struggle with feeling invisible to others. Sometimes I can feel I’m offended, but it’s really a deep childhood wound that occasionally flairs. Growing up in the shadow of an emotionally volatile person, I became very skilled at invisibility. Too skilled. With my outgoing personality and stage abilities I often have felt like Michigan J Frog from Bugs Bunny cartoons. I was a phenom in front of a couple, but once the crowds were there, I merely croaked. I have always had conflicting feelings, polarizing….”LISTEN TO ME WORLD!!! Never mind…please don’t EVEN see me!” And when the world complies with the latter, that old wound sears with pain. Maybe that’s where ‘feeling offended’ originates. Old wounds of feeling insignificant and unimportant, invisible.
All I know is status shouldn’t determine where I sit at the table. Jesus stated it beautifully in the Matthew 22 wedding parable, “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.”