On The Threshold: Middle-Class Values

Middle ClassOn economic scale and on the basis of purchasing power, Indian society has broadly been classified into three major categories – lower, middle and upper class. For our convenience and to distinguish ourselves from others, we have created several sub-categories – lower, higher-lower, lower-middle, higher-middle, and lower-upper and super-rich class. Apart from this classification, we have two more categories of people – below poverty line (BPL) and rulers.  Although no official data is available but it is no surprise that the entire world of more than 6 billion people is being ruled by less than 100,000 ultra-rich and super-powerful people. Also, more than 30% the total population lives on day-to-day basis. They do not have enough money to even buy three meals per day.

With this background, let me also explain that as I grew and moved from one so called category to another, I realized that many things that I was taught in my school/college and by my family is actually of little use. I was taught about a few (necessary) human qualities such as, Integrity, Honesty, Trustworthiness, Being Faithful, Ethics, Principles, Truthfulness, Loyalty, Caring for Others, Love, Respect, Preferring Happiness Over Money, Shame, Giving, Sharing, etc. However, I realized that these are the traits and qualities that are preached by middle-class families and some other saints of modern era who make their living by preaching such things to others. Those of us, who are struggling to have enough food to eat three times a day, don’t even understand meanings of these personality traits. They do not find these traits necessary for their existence. For them, survival is the key and they will do anything to survive for another day; anything that includes Cheating, Stealing, Killing, Crime, selling their children and even their own bodies.  People in upper class, Rulers and those who are directly linked to these two categories use these personality traits for and at their own convenience. They can be unfaithful, dishonest, disloyal, uncaring, demanding love and respect, and shameless as per their own comfort. They play those games that are designed by them, they make rules and yet when they are about to lose, they change rules of the game. So, at the end we are left with only one category of people – middle-class, that values, advocates, preach, and follow these personality traits to a certain extent. Probably, that is one reason as to why these personality traits are called as middle-class value system.

As we move from one social stratum to another, we see that people at the bottom feel exploited and oppressed. The crowd is at the bottom. They stay there for the rest of their life. Even then when they try to move up in a nicer and sincere way, they are pressed down by the high and mighty. They find only one way to move up and that route is through crime. Hence, this is also a social-class that gives birth to crimes, criminals, and goons – powerful as well as notorious. When they are on the threshold of moving from one social stratum to another, they need to decide if they really want to and are prepared for more difficult challenges. Once a criminal, always is a criminal, even if you try not to be and put a mask on your face. And if you try to leave, what has pushed you to the top, you will get killed. Social transition is not an easy thing to do, and then when you are lured by the charm of upper-class and you stand on the threshold of transit, you can rethink and reconsider your decision and may decide to step-back but once you take that step across the line then you cannot move back.

While people in lower-class are pushed down and exploited by those at the top, people in the middle-class are blocked by their own value system. By their knowledge, education, ability to think and decide and their value system, they create so many blocks and hurdles around themselves that they just cannot overcome. They believe too much in their value-system and learn to be happy with whatever they have. They do say that money is not important for their survival and they prefer being content and happy over a spree of wealth creation but the fact is that they have no other choice but to be happy with what they have. They are so busy in competing among themselves and pushing and pulling others down that they don’t even think of taking a leap forward to move to another category or class. If crime and selling their body (being a sex worker or getting into female / male prostitution) are available tools for lower class people to leap forward, middle-class people are required to compromise with their value-system. Once again, when on the threshold of such transition and before taking a leap forward, you can reconsider your decision to take a step forward or move back, because once you decide to compromise with your value-system, you will be asked to do it again and again for the rest of your life, unless you show willingness to lose everything that you have gained.

From the corridors of power and from that height, when you look out and down, you see dirt and dust. You don’t see people, you don’t see what they are going through, but you just see some unwanted creatures. Their existence or non-existence doesn’t really matter to you.  You refuse to be empathetic. You refuse to see or feel the emotions of others and the only person that matters to you and the only thing that you see is you and your happiness. You begin to treat others as your servant and exploit them.

In the chronology of social strata, it is not easy to transit from bottom to top. To take that leap, more than hard-work, knowledge and skills, a person must have the courage and willingness to break-free. Let’s also accept that one cannot create his or her destiny or craft create their fate and future, without making a few compromises. If making upward transit is difficult, staying up is even more of a hurricane task. To stay there, you cannot be what you were earlier and you need to adapt to your new place and status. Coming down is easier but only if you are willing to lose everything that you have gained.

In this write-up we have made an attempt to explain, what it takes to change your destiny and move up in society in the Indian context. Once you get what you wished for and arrive at the top, you must not complain about things that you missed or you have lost to be there. Nothing comes free and one must pay the price to grow, create a social status and to be successful. You need to shed a few things to leap forward and fly high. You cannot fly high enough with numerous strings of emotions, values and principles attached to you. Even birds, when they migrate from one country to another, they destroy their homes and nests and create new homes at new places.

I hope we have succeeded in our attempt. Kindly share your thoughts and views.

Have a great day and take good care of yourself.

~Human Resources Department

Posted By OneCybertech

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