Issue 97 / January - February 2014
Addiction of Status
Though less known than drug addictions, status addiction can cause serious harm to individuals and society.
One of the essential mistakes some people who attain a certain status in our time make is their failure to see how transitory worldly positions are; they act as if this world is permanent. Why do some people's characters change when they are promoted to a certain position? Why do some character flaws surface after gaining a certain status? It is known that the human carnal soul has different forms of weakness, and is inclined to develop certain forms of worldly addictions, and love of status is one of them. When a person comes to a high position, he or she often gains a different mood with the new power and means they've obtained. Sometimes, this means maintaining one's internal balance - and sometimes it means losing that balance. The latter situation might stem from negative feelings that had, until then, been suppressed.
Some people develop an addiction to substances that stimulate their sense of reward. In time, psychological addiction is accompanied by the biological addiction, and the dose demanded for satisfaction increases. If it is not achieved, feelings of deprivation can arise, and from this, crises surface. . Consequently, the person becomes totally addicted. Addiction for status develops in the same pattern. The only difference is that what causes the addiction is not a chemical substance, but the status itself.
The person is virtually drugged with the effects of power and the opportunities in hand, along with the respect and interest shown by others. Therefore, one does not only fear losing the opportunities, but also this respect and interest. The person does whatever one can in order to make things continue as they are. Similar to a drug addict who resorts to illegal means for the sake of finding drugs, the person will use any means to retain power. What matters is only the continuity of the position and the status possessed.
After one chair, the status-addict looks for the next chair like a drug addict craving drugs. As the body develops a tolerance for narcotic substances, and the person seeks higher doses, the status-addict looks for an increase in interest and respect from others. The least degree of indifference or being normal treatment makes the status-lover lose their temper. For this reason, he does not like to keep around those who fail to show excessive respect and who make occasional warnings about his behavior. He continually looks for people to behave like servants at his beck and call. In the end, the status-lover will be surrounded by flatterers instead of sound advisers, who might bring him to his senses. This only adds to his pleasure more, as he needs higher doses for satisfaction.
People with good qualifications, whom appear to be potential rivals, evoke a great disturbance in status-addicts. Such individuals are quickly destroyed, before they can prove themselves. Therefore, both the addict's position is retained and the ones who might discover their mistakes are handled. Status-addicts sometimes make unjust decisions and enforce them for the sake of intimidation. He is the most successful and rightful person, because his own potential and intelligence come before everything. Consultation and meetings are routine tasks to let pass. The status-addict does not accept anybody's opinion but his own, does not listen to different ideas, and uses meetings as shows of power to satisfy his ego. After some time, this dizzying mood causes serious mistakes. However, as nobody to bring them to their senses remains, the consequences are grim.
The treatment process for status-addicts requires balancing the heart and mind, and also activating the spiritual dynamics. Otherwise, the person totally goes astray, both materially and spiritually. The egotistic behavior of the status-addict harms the addict, first of all, and also harms those around them.
All worldly positions are temporary, and being aware of this might be helpful in treating status-addiction. God Almighty will call people to account for all of the blessings He gave. There are other people who are more talented, or who have better capacities, than we do. Graveyards are full of people who once assumed that everything depended on them. When one is dismissed from a certain position, the extremeness of that person's reaction is in direct proportion with the degree of addiction. All that matters here is a person's continuing one's relation with God, not upsetting the balance of the heart, not forgetting that this world is temporary, and giving this world and the next as much value as they deserve.