Class means different things to different people. As a student of sociology, class refers to the social status in society. It is referred to as social class. It is like the caste system, which creates a hierarchy in society. Class could be based on income, caste, profession etc. An act of high quality is also referred to as class. For eg, in the cricket world, we normally refer to batsmen who are outstanding as class. An oft quoted saying is ” Form is temporary but Class is permanent.”
So, let us understand why form is temporary but class is permanent. It is believed the best in class player in any form of sports is classic although she or he may not be in form on a particular day. We can think of the best soccer players going goalless in a match. The best batsmen getting out for a duck and so on. However, their consistency and quality of the game is unimaginable. Hence, we could easily state that “Class is classic”.
If we move to the social class, there is an interesting theory in sociology called “Sanskritization”. This means people who are in the lower caste do everything in their domain to move to the higher caste hierarchy. This is simple aspiration in life. Who on earth would not like to grow ? However sociologists have studied this phenomenon and called it “Sanskritization”. Today it may look obvious that every one of us aspires to learn and grow in every aspect of life.
Another interesting determinant of class is forwardness or backwardness of a community. This is determined by developmental indicators, educational levels, per capita income and so on. So, when communities are behind their contemporaries in the same society due to clear developmental factors, they are referred to as backward communities. On the other hand, when communities move forward in the same factors they are called forward class.
Another interesting classification of society in the past has also been done based on the professional vocation of a group. This segregation then refers to a community as potters , agriculturists and so on. The profession adopted by the majority of a village or a community gives credence to the name of that community or village as a potters village and so on.
Whatever be the definition of class, I would state that “Class is classic”. In order to attain class in anything we do, we have to be the best in class. This means that in a group of artisans if we are the best, we are referred to as class. This has an important meaning for us in life. If we are the best in whatever we do in life, we will be a class apart and nobody can ignore us. On the contrary, class is respected always.
If I link it to the organisational context, most of us waste our time and efforts by comparing ourselves with our colleagues at work in terms of our performance. It would be wiser to compare oneself to self and be the best in class. If we are the best in whatever we do in the organization, nobody can afford to ignore us, least of all our manager. Hence, it is critical to remember that the best in class will always beat their own standards and records and not bother about others.
Why should we waste our time by comparing ourselves with others if we can be the best ? Our competitors should waste their time comparing themselves with us rather than the other way around. Let us excel in whatever work we do and be always better than the best. The best is class and may not be easy to replicate. We have to outshine everyone around us by our class and not by caste or position or power.
As in the photo above, Taj Mahal is class and hence no new architecture of the world has been able to beat its beauty.
Let us learn to outshine ourselves every day.
S Ramesh Shankar