Spiritual Capital - Unlike Other Capital it is Free and Universal
Updated: Aug 15, 2018
The BBC teamed up with sociologists from leading universities to analyse the modern British class system¹, which led to The Great British Class survey (around 9 MILLION people have taken part)! On completing it you can discover which of the 7 classes you fall into: I'm an emergent service worker (the 3rd lowest class group) It's fascinating to say the least, most of all because it's evolved from the traditional British social divisions of upper, middle and working class, which feels liberating i.e. not being restricted to one of three classes. It measures three forms of capital to calculate which class we fall into: Economic capital - income, savings and house value. Social capital - the number and status of people someone knows. Cultural capital - the extent and nature of your cultural interests and activities. Capital is social, it's economic, it's cultural yet I can't help thinking they're missing another category of capital. All the above capital are all extrinsic factors that tend to oppress or privilege our position in society. They can make us feel less or more important in comparison with others. Certain levels of capital are more exclusive to some classes than others, like the royal family. Making the new upper perpetually exclusive and elitist. In short, the class system is hierarchical in a bad way. So what is spiritual capital (SC)? It's about our innate humanness and our capacity to express that humaness, good and bad. It doesn't so much determine our position in society as it does amongst humanity. How is it increased or decreased? Through our interactions with others. It transcends all others forms of capital in that it can be obtained anywhere, at any time where you can find people e.g. your family, friends, co-workers even strangers. Especially strangers. Its acquisition isn't accelerated through money, power or education.
All you need is yourself. Making it both free and global (so no GDP or green card needed). So how do we obtain SC through our interactions? I'll tell you free, by sharing, caring, showing respect and empathy. And through materialism, individualism and isolationism we decrease our SC. An affluent person with high levels of economic capital has the opportunity to share their wealth with the relatively poor and increase their own SC e.g. opening up private golf courses (which the taxpayers are subsidising) in LA to people to walk, run and walk their dogs a couple days a week. A popular or powerful person with high levels of social capital has the opportunity to befriend the marginalised or powerless and increase their own spiritual capital e.g. through meetups, social groups or community outreach projects. A prestigious person with high levels of cultural capital has the opportunity to empower the everyday person and also increase their own spiritual capital e.g. free scholarships or grants for education, training or resources (even travel). And that's partly the point, SC effectively creates an equal society in that it breeds shared concern, oneness and unity. SC fits within a form of hierarchy, but not one that rates one's worth in relation to other citizens, moreover, one's responsibility and maturity within society, which are themselves dependent on other citizens' SC. Our capacity to gain (and lose) our SC grows as we mature and are allocated more responsibilities. For instance, babies have a very small capacity for SC than say an 80-year-old family woman & business tycoon. From living with our family to having our own family, from being single to being in a committed relationship, from being an employee to starting your own business. Generally, we're all obliged to provide for our own families, our committed loved ones and employees. I think we can maximise our spiritual capital as ordinary individuals in a few ways:
Embrace every interaction whether pleasant or unpleasant as it's opportunity to express your own humanity.
Put effort into building authentic relationships.
When approaching people, always ask yourself: how can I act in a way that increases their humanity and in turn MY own?
Booker T Washington sounded right when he said,that "[we] lift [ourselves] up in proportion as we help to lift others, and the more unfortunate the race, and the lower in the scale of civilisation, the more does one raise one's self by giving the assistance."
I want some more spiritual capital, don't you?