Editorial: You are what you are worth

Class divisions are evident in modern society and have most likely existed since the dawn of time. It is a burden of society and such divides create formidable pressures within a country, particularly for those at the bottom of the pyramid.

In the Elizabethan era there was the Great Chain of Being, placing God at the top and the ‘lesser’ people at the bottom. Four hundred years later and society still has distinct divisions. Take the townships – for example – in our own country. Often an informal settlement lies next to a highly developed urban area, such as Alexander Township which lies right on the doorstep of Sandton. Quite a juxtaposition.

Most class divisions are based on one concept: wealth. The more one has the higher up one is. More likely than not, once you are in a class you are there for life. Take the slums in India for example. The occupants are supposedly the scum of the earth and will most likely never change their societal status. Quiet interestingly though are those that do manage to shatter the status quo. These individuals manage to demonstrate a few common traits such as courage, bravery, determination and, of course, a helping hand from Lady Luck.

Class divisions establish an important mechanism for effective functioning: order. Everyone should be entitled to, and have, all basic human rights, but as long as currency exists so too will classes. Imagine a world with no classes. Most likely a picture of a red Communist flag comes to mind.

Not much can be done to prevent class divisions. Money is the greatest dictator of them all. But do not fear. Defying the odds is an option – at a price of course: hard work, dedication and a great deal of luck.

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