Status Anxiety (De Botton, A (2004)I think it was Brennan Manning in Ragamuffin Gospel who said...
Status Anxiety. Penguin) – unravels
the concept of how and why we try to
demand and maintain status and the
fear that grips individuals should that
status be questioned. The desire for
respect, the need for admiration,
esteem. This is a book about an almost
universal anxiety that rarely gets
mentioned directly: an anxiety about
what others think of us; about whether
we're judged a success or a failure, a
winner or a loser.
What was interesting was an inclusion of a chapter on Christianity seen
as a cure for such ‘driveness’.
"In Jesus freedom from fear empowers us to let go of the desire to appear good, so that we can move more freely in the mystery of who we really are…the pre-occupation with projecting image leads to ‘unfreedom’ in the iron grip of human respect…"Ironic really then that …
"Many churches are seeking to become great churches. Entire ministry industries exist to help the process. In every community there’s at least one great church measured by numbers and facilities…but there is a troubling secret, size is not enough…churches now want to move from ‘success to significance’ Acts 10:38 ‘Jesus went around going good’ Need to trade chasing greatness for doing good."(Swanson (2003) Leadership Spring).Too often I wonder if we are too caught up in projecting image, chasing success for fear of non-recognition, chasing greatness that we lose sight of what it is to be significant simply by doing good. I have to be honest to my guilt - that 'iron grip' sometimes is a little too tight!!