Wednesday, December 9, 2015


The other day someone called me an elitist. The person wasn't trying to be mean, but pointed out that I have very distinct expectations of how things should be. At first I had a negative thought about said person that began with one of my favorite 4-letter words. I refrained from expressing that and thought about the word elitist. 

According to
As an adjective, the word means: (of a person or class of persons) considered superior by others or by themselves, as in intellect, talent, power, wealth, or position in society

As a noun, it means: a person having, thought to have, or professing superior intellect or talent, power, wealth, or membership in the upper echelons of society

For the record, I do not think of myself as superior in any way. The word, as stated above does not fit me. I dug a little more, and prefer Urban Dictionary's description:
A person who holds him or herself to higher standards than those of lesser beings because he or she is naturally more honorable, intelligent, funny, good-looking, and awesome than the rest. Elitists are usually well-groomed and well-dressed, although this is a not one of their defining qualities. Also, elitists have the right to look down upon others but often don't for the sake of saving the time and effort needed to criticize those of lesser abilities. 
 Elitists exercise often and eat healthily to keep their bodies fit and desirable-looking. In addition, elitists are too smart to do drugs. 
Elitists have stimulating conversations that keep their minds fresh and their lives active.
Elitists are proud of being elitists but are secretive at the same time; for instance, the elitist code used by elitists to facilitate their advanced conversations is a well known phenomenon for those who associate with elitists; however, only elitists will ever know this code. 
This definition made me laugh, and made the label a little more tolerable. In all seriousness, I still do not feel it is an adequate representation of me. However, I do believe I have high expectations and definite ideas that I'm not afraid to share. This has been the case for as long as I can remember. Part of it I blame on my reading habits.

As a child, I read avidly and by the end of the book, everything usually worked out for the best. The protagonists made the right choices and all was right in their world. That was how I wanted my life to be. I wanted everything to fit and make sense. My greatest desire was for outcomes that made everyone happy. Unfortunately, the world doesn't work like that. Life is messy and unpredictable. There is pain, war, rejection, sadness, loss and disappointment. While characters I read about faced all these things, I knew they would be OK in the end. There are no such guarantees in real life, but that doesn't stop me from trying.

Growing up in a place that held danger beyond my control, I tried to control as much as I could. I still try. It is not a feeling of being superior that I struggle with, it is creating superiority. I want to create those happy endings; make outcomes better than they might otherwise be. The only thing within my control towards that end is living my life from examples that are positive, or do things in a way that makes their life better, and extends that for others.

Within that thought process, I am elitist when it comes to expectations of others. I have high expectations of those I surround myself with because I firmly believe that if you expect nothing from someone, that is exactly what you get. But no one wants to be nothing. Everyone wants to be important, valuable, feel like their existence matters. Expecting a lot from someone gives them the gift of value. My goal isn't to make anyone feel like they are less than me if they don't meet my expectations, but rather for them to know that someone believes they are capable. I hope it empowers them. In doing so, I sometimes come off as harsh, abrasive and according to some, an elitist. If I am an elitist for wanting to be surrounded by the best, I can live with that. Perhaps I should embrace it. - After all, there are worse things I can be called.

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