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The State of Status in Society

Are you insecure about how other people view you? Join the club. Whether we like it or not, we are all status-seekers in some ways. We worry about our job titles, our companies’ reputations, and our salaries. Sometimes we fret over the clothes we wear, the size of our living spaces, and the cars we drive. Striving to be viewed in a positive light, we work tirelessly to elevate our social standing by acquiring symbols of status.

Unfortunately, we may be focusing our attention on the wrong elements of life. David Brooks suggests that we all have two selves: one that craves success (resume virtues) and one that seeks connection (eulogy virtues). In his Ted Talk, Brooks explains that we often focus more of our attention on resume virtues, although we deem eulogy virtues more important. Why do we fail to focus on cultivating the relationships that truly matter?

The answer lies in the American Dream. Our democratic, capitalist society teaches us to strive for status by creating the dynamics of a meritocracy. If we accumulate money and power, we are viewed as successful through our own merits, implying that we are valuable members of society. Failing to accumulate money and power brings our own merits and societal value into question. With so much pressure riding on our accumulation of money and power, we are bound to focus on our resume virtues, leaving our eulogy virtues by the wayside.

How can we change this?

Here at Entreprenavel, we are working to build a world where people are rewarded for the quality of their relationships and their openness to assisting others. Our goal is to establish a system where people can play the role of community-connected hosts, opening doors for traveling entrepreneurs and artists. In exchange for money or equity, hosts will introduce emerging entrepreneurs/artists to collaborators, investors, and promoters in their communities. By rewarding community connections, the Entreprenavel system will incentivize people to build quality relationships.

Are you interested in turning the focus from status to relationships? Reach out to me, Conor Flynn, on Linkedin.

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