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12.15.2011

THE GILDED FOLK

Someone said to me this week, in response to my question of whether or not they liked sushi, "I love good sushi".  I giggled inside and fought back the urge to say something a bit terse, smart assish such as, "Only good sushi.  How about poor quality sushi?"  I can love pie till the cows come home, but it goes without saying that I don't love poor quality pie.  Isn't that a given?  Isn't that assumed?   Oh, the literalists in the world!!  But then I thought, taste too can be a bit subjective.  Not necessarily in what we like - choices - but in what we deem quality or good within that choice.  The word superior is an interesting English word.  It's one of those words that can be both a noun and an adjective.  My daughter and I were discussing words yesterday and how some can be both nouns and verbs or nouns and adjectives.  I have found some people in life who view themselves a bit like one of the adjective definitions of the word superior;  a sense of being better than others.  None of us can be totally objective about ourselves.  Nor, do we fully see ourselves correctly.  That being said, there seems to be another category of people whose view of self is quite skewed creating and orchestrating a caste system of sorts in their worlds.  Unfortunately their world spills onto mine!   I want superior sushi.  Who wouldn't!  I want a superior product if I am making a purchase.  Who wouldn't!  I want to be superior in performance in my work.  Who wouldn't!  What I don't want is to become so mesmerized with myself that I begin to think and live as if I am better than others.  Religiosity can perpetuate that sometimes.  It's the very thing that Jesus called the Pharisees out on.  I believe Jesus said, "You brood of vipers!"  Ah, you see they did deeds of goodness.  They fulfilled God's desire to live on the right side of His line.  But, they did it all with a superior sense of self.  They did it all without grace and love.  It seems that grace and love, when fully seated in us, gives us a clearer lens to see ourselves.  When we see ourselves - our humanity, even when cleaned up as much as we can in our human efforts, the playing field levels itself.   How many of us have heard or even said the phrase, "they think theirs just doesn't stink".   Though not literal (although everyone farts and they do smell from time to time), we get the meaning of a separatist and superior way of dealing with others.  Around the turn of the century the workforce took a distinctive turn to what is known as "the gilded age".  It is noted that is when the employer and employee relationship turned more to hierarchy.  Success in business now clearly shows us that when employees are valued not as less than the CEO, owner, or their boss, it creates an environment of better productivity, more success and greater longevity.   I like Warren Buffet.  This man, who is a billionaire, has lived in the same house in Omaha, Nebraska since 1958, long before he amassed his wealth.  He doesn't appear to be too awfully big for his britches:)  To the rest of the "superior" contingency out there.... get over yourself!

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