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Do you have status or stature?
From Joia’s daily walk
Traditionally, “status” has been one of the key reasons why people buy luxury.
Unfortunately, “status” is a murky concept.
While the term does suggest something real and worthwhile about rising through a hierarchy or reaching a next level (true achievements one ought to pursue and value highly), the word “status” is also packaged with conformist and power struggle pursuits that are poisonously incompatible with human flourishing.
Today, I’ve been reflecting on making a distinction between “status” and “stature”.
To me, “stature”’connotes an earned distinction. “Stature” reflects a growth achieved through the development of valuable skills or an accomplishment with reality-based standards. For example, a martial arts master has stature from mastery over a body of knowledge, a system, skills that a beginner doesn’t yet (and may never) have. An entrepreneur who has successfully launched a business and brought it to profitability has an earned standing above someone just starting out.
Making the effort to increase your stature is different from “status-seeking,” which can frequently be empty, meaningless, and sometimes even evil. For example, the competitions where the “winner” is the one who screws up the least. Or the titles bestowed based on sheer favoritism or nepotism irrespective of merit. There’s also the despicable “status” sought by a power-luster in an illegitimate political or social structure, which frequently normalizes lying, bribery, bullying, even murder and war.
(In future discussions, we’ll have to go more in-depth untangling the good from the bad in the concept of “power,” particularly as it impacts luxury).
One of the main reasons I’ve long felt conflicted about what passes for “luxury” is I’ve been turned off by its association with the negative aspects of “status”.
But an elevated luxury that celebrates and encourages growing in stature - that’s a luxury the world needs.
To your ever-growing stature,