The voracious Game-of-More

When I was growing up in the 80's, one of the big clothing status symbols for teenage girls were Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. (GV's for short.) I know there are different symbols now, but back then it was a big deal to have a golden swan on your hip.

Of course as we age, the symbols change.  It might be the title on our business cards, our address, brand of car (or purse or watch)...

Whether intentional or unintentional, status symbols are something we use to communicate our value in society. (From what I gather, this has been around as long as anyone remembers. There used to be actual laws about what a person could wear according to their caste. It remains part of our culture.)

The thing about status symbols is that there is always someone out there playing the Game-of-More better than we are.

I would think the very rich could win this game, but it seems they have their own Achilles heels as seen in the potshots taken by late night talk show hosts about bad comb-overs and Botox injections gone awry.

The challenge with the Game-of-More is that if we find our value externally, then we will continually rate ourselves against the competition.  A game by nature requires strategic moves and counter moves to win.  It burns a lot of resources.  This isn't just about our purchases. This is about how we allocate all of our resources: our time, our attention, our passion.

Of course the real danger in the Game-of-More is that it distracts us from discovering our bright, beautiful authentic selves.  To be authentic, we have to learn what we like rather than what product placement tells us we should. We have to invest in developing our talents. We have to do the hard work of learning to love. And it requires our attention to be able to do that.

In an odd twist, it would seem that the people we like best aren't those that have the most status symbols.  The people we like best are those who are real.  It is with them that we connect the most deeply. They are the ones who inspire us.

I've been told it takes courage to grow up and be who we really are. Maybe that courage is required because there is nothing more dangerous than rejecting the rules that society plays by. Or maybe the courage is that we have to face the fear that just being us will not be enough.

I promise you. It is enough. We are enough.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall