Social roles are the part we play as members of a social group. Based on my observations, I have put together this life roles hierarchy shown as five layers of a pyramid. The pyramid clearly means that the majority of us operate at the bottom while very few operate at the top. We need all five roles to have a progressive and thriving society. I also see these layers represent a hierarchy of intellectual progression.
We are all consumers. We spend our days reading, listening, eating, and buying. We buy things we don’t need to make us happy. Progress and prosperity mean constant consumption of newer and better things. We work to afford the newest clothes, the nice car, the expensive dinner out.
But none of this will add happiness to our lives. True happiness comes from helping others — from carving out our own path. It comes from the confidence gained by knowing that you can succeed in your dream.
As long as you remain only a consumer you will not have the fulfilment you desire. A consumer can never get enough. They can never be truly happy. They will always look at the world through the lens of what they can get from it, instead of what they can give to it.
A contributor is one who is connected to the economy and society. Producers, on the other hand, strive to make something valuable to others. They receive their payment not only monetarily but through the confidence of self that they don’t require anyone else to survive in this world. It’s not as hard as you might think. The producer mindset allows you to view the world through the opposite lens. This lens will keep you striving to find new ways to provide value and allows you to see how others are doing the same.
The mission of a curator is to educate or teach children and adults about anything that is of real value like art, culture, thinking, ideas, best practices and so on. If they are passionate about what they do, curators will make learning fun and enjoyable. A curator can come in many forms: a teacher, a mentor, a coach, a guru or a trainer.
A catalyst is an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action. A catalyst is one who champions and rallies people around a cause. The cause necessarily involves a change- in attitude, mindset, thinking or behaviour or our world view itself. Take the catalyst out and you would not have any change or transformation. A catalyst can enthuse a group of people, orient them toward a common goal and motivate them to accomplish them.
A creator is an innovator, an inventor. Innovation can certainly be an adventure. It requires the courage to face uncertainty, and a willingness to take risks. The outcome is never entirely clear. Yet we must be proactive in our pursuit of it. The path is unknown so we need to be imaginative in how we seek it out. We cannot be sure what will be required to achieve success, so we need to be resourceful and strategic. And because failure is always one possible outcome, we need to have faith in ourselves and our capabilities, and in the potential of our ideas. We need to be willing to explore and experiment. We need to be adventurous.