An absence of any ladders/pyramids would be ideal. But before we get there, realistically, we should probably acknowledge we’re all on them. The ladders of success, of money, of rank, of whatever other word or label we want to put on it.
And most of us are trying to climb.
I’m suggesting we start looking down on our ladders. Actually moving down would be even better, but at least we can start looking down.
Looking up has some serious issues.
For one, we’re just looking at people’s backs. We just see asses. We start to think the world is filled with asses and we become an ass ourselves. No human can stand looking up at all those asses above us, without becoming one ourself.
You know, you’ve met that person. Or been that person. Bitter, cynical, sarcastic… muttering how the world is filled with a bunch of greedy, selfish, bastards… because it’s all we see as we struggle to push them aside and get higher.
If, however, we decide to look down, it’s a very different view. We see faces. We see hands reaching out for our help. We start to realize that there are faces behind all those asses and we start to realize that we’ve come a lot further than we think and what’s the point of trying to climb higher when we can reach out our own hand and try to pull someone up instead.
We’ll suddenly be grateful instead of jealous.
We’ll suddenly be generous instead of anxious.
We’ll suddenly find the world, and life, to generally be a better place.
(Side note: If someone in your life is using you to get higher, they are not a friend. If they are jealous of your spot or anxious of their own, they are also not a friend. They are an equally valuable human, but not a friend.)
The more we look down and pull others up, the less we start to care about the ladders at all. They, conceivably, could even end up collapsing.
I think when Jesus told the rich man to go and sell all his possessions, he was just saying this: go down the ladder. Life is better there.
The man went away sad because he had so much. It’s hard to go down the ladder when we’re so high up it.