The more I see of the world, the more I know this to be true. People are naturally snobs. It doesn’t even matter what a person feels superior about, although this is frequently attributed to education status. There is great truth to this. I’ve worked several years at various schools as a “classified” staff member–an employee pool which includes custodians, paraeducators, bus drivers, kitchen staff, and secretaries. Since I had a Bachelor’s degree, teachers and administration treated me with more consideration (not that this took much) than most of the other classified staff, but I witnessed firsthand how the more highly educated certified staff spoke to my fellow support staff. There was a great deal of condescension and disinterest in any suggestions or concerns of the classified employees…and I saw this way more often than I’d like to admit. I wish I’d stood up for the other employees more, but I didn’t. Even though I didn’t feel like such an attitude was correct, I didn’t stop it, either. I am equally culpable.
Such a sense of superiority is applicable to religion, gender, race, health, wealth, and a host of other traits that form each of our individual psyches. These attitudes exist just as strongly among Democrats as they do Republicans. We all feel like we’re the better person about something.
I just wish we’d eventually stop seeing ourselves as no more than individuals. We all have our place in society, but that’s just it. Our individuality should help create a cohesive community. Unfortunately, we’re more divided than ever.