Because in a class-based society there’s still quite a lot of movement up and down and the positions aren’t fixed, and this runs counter to the innate human desire for stability and permanence, outward shows of status are very important to people. The assumed acknowledgement of others serves as a reference point by which to reinforce the dubious notion of permanence.
However, as we all know, status is no more permanent than the breeze and the outward signs of status no more intrinsically meaningful.
But it takes a brave person to step out of that breeze altogether and instead pin their status on being an expression of the Tao in human form, thereby spiritualizing the game instead of playing it to win.
But if winning’s your thing, attaining such enlightenment is the real prize.
All forms change over time and vanity about the form is therefore obviously silly.
Still it takes a brave person to override it, along with all the media-driven bombardment in place to constantly reinforce it (an insecure person is a good customer for status-boosting products) and go for the bigger perspective.
The Native Americans have this notion that some days you assume the mantle of a mouse and see the world from that perspective, while other days you assume the mantle of the eagle and zoom right out to see the full view.
Here’s to you being the eagle today and by your greater vision experiencing a benign reset back to that innocent state before status, in which you know yourself as a limitless being on an unfathomable adventure rather than as the locally-referenced person who so wants to buy that house/car/vacation/whatever.
(Inspired by observations in a crowded city during a brief urban flit).