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Classy Networking

March 10, 2013

caste pyrmd

I don’t have the balls (or nipples, I guess, in my case) for networking. I’ve never been the Buddha who can work the room, with ease, bragging about my accomplishments and brandishing my business card, in hopes of a “let’s do lunch” opportunity to take me or my projects to the “next level”.
Part of me admires those who can. Another part of me resents them.

I’ve been exploring this resentment. Here’s what I’ve come to feel…thus far:

1. It stems from what I’ve labeled a Class War.
2. This Class War has its roots in the Indian Caste System.
3. The purpose of Buddhism (or most any ism – for that matter) is to feel better.
4. Enlightenment is the transcendence beyond any system of castes.

These 4 feelings or realizations prompted the following 5 questions:
1. What events cause a person to recognize their caste?
2. Once your caste is recognized how do you feel about it?
3. If you feel good about your caste how does it serve you?
4. If you don’t feel good about your caste how do you elevate or otherwise change it to suite you?
5. Can a person’s caste be changed or is it relegated to his or her birth and personality?

My first childhood playmate was born to teenage uneducated parents. She being their first child was reared by the trappings of her parent’s caste. 50 years later she is an adult who at surface glance seems to have a finite set of choices and opportunities available to her; minimally educated, minimally employed, and minimally challenged beyond the comfort of her zip code.

Rewind 25 years eariler. My playmate’s teenage parents completed their educations to Master degree status and became educators themselves. They had a second child. This child although born to the same mother and father had very different parenting.

The second child reaped the trappings of her parent’s seemingly elevated caste. This child completed her formal education to Master’s degree in 5 years and is on the fast track to PhD. She has completed her first book of research. She now lives abroad. She is under 30 years old. The choices and opportunities available to her at surface glance appear infinite.

Is one child destined to be an unskilled worker while the other child be part of the warrior ruler class simply due to the benefit of parenting or is there something more?

Is either sibling even aware of this differentiation in caste/class? How does it both affect and effect their interactions with one another and with others? Are they forever supportive loving sisters or are there jealousies, below the surface that manifest in various ways?

I’ve been wrestling with my own caste/class lately – as you no doubt may suspect.
It’s something I only give thought to when someone from a caste perceived above my own reaches out to me to help elevate their cast even further.

I’ve yet to appreciate how my insights, experience and skill set are many times the catalyst for helping someone excel far beyond heights the same attributes have been unable to soar me. It boggles my mind – more frankly it pisses me off. Sore me… SOAR me dammit!

But what do I do? Do I be withholding and tell them, “You’re a smart one, figure it out!” Or do I relish the opportunity to assist them from the metaphysical perspective that all I give is given to myself?

This post won’t end with an ahh ha moment of clarity. I’m just posing the questions?
What do you think? Let’s do lunch and talk about it. While Ray Dalton sings the hook:
And then we go back, this is the moment
Tonight is the night, we’ll fight till it’s over
So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us
Like the ceiling can’t hold us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 11, 2013 6:15 am

    Rougie, all good questions you pose.
    The answers can be as simple or as complex as you wish to go.
    You tickle me when you ask us questions you already know the answers to.
    Like with the Jeremy thing – how’s that going by the way? We’ll talk more on that one offline.
    Must be resolved if you stopped posting about it.

    But on this one, of course the sisters are fighting maybe only in subtle ways, but you betcha.
    It is a class war, as you say and in war there is fighting.
    Yes, caste does tend to have a fixed quality. The sentiment you can take the boy out the country but you can’t take the country out the boy, is an example of this.
    Yes, people from castes above your own will look to you to mooch your resources
    while ignoring you later in the day on the golf course, wondering who let your ass in?
    Chill-lax Rougie it all comes around.

    Remember years ago when we were so excited about the newly elected congressman? How we knew he was the future of the ruler warrior class and would be so different from his father the media- show Brahmin? Remember the fund raiser (whoa that’s even funnier now)
    where I shook hands to give him congratulations calling him by his first name because I was old enough to be his father’s older brother and the little shit corrected me and said, “It’s Congressman”…it all comes full circle Rougie. Just do you – you do it so well, babygirl.

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