When was the last time you asked someone how they are, and they said good, yet you could see it wasn’t so? I can bet it was very recent. What did you do about it? Did you ask again, or did you leave it at that? Did you ask someone else about it or just walk away? Did you pray for them?
I admit it is very easy to say it is well because someone else says they are good but is it all? Is that good enough? Should we just walk away? Should we prod? Should we keep pushing? Should we ask others? What should we do and why is it like this?
I dare say it is because it is above our pay grade.
Pay grade in ordinary life is the system of compensation for employment that determines how much people are paid. It determines how much on is paid and therefore how much one has to spend and what they can do. It opens and closes doors for many, creating limits for many.
In my context, pay grade is determined by the closeness of the relationship and the levels of honesty therein. A close relationship has a higher pay grade and deeper levels of connection and community than one with an acquaintance. Why? Work and time have been put into it that has built relationship. Deep connections are formed from long conversations, disagreements, forgiveness and restoration.
Pay grades rise with commitment.
As we get close and build deeper relationships we learn the value of unity and support. We understand that we are as strong as our deepest relationships and weak in the absence of them. We are as stable as our commitments and as weak as our laxity. Pay grade in relationship allows us to ask the hard questions, hold one another to account and comfort our tribe.
Pay grade is important because it tells us who can and cannot ask for things and expect accountability from. It also tells us what to share and what to keep inside as well as how to deal one to another. They are liberating because they are a clear indicator of safe spaces, neutral spaces and no go areas.
Pay grades are about balance.
Balance to keep growing and changing, shifting and making room for others. It is about understanding where you and your tribe are and how far you want to go together. We are the sum total of our closest friends and mentors so choosing the right people and building the connections are super important.
It is difficult to be open and close to everyone that is why there is need to identify the ones you are walking with and how closely. Many have told me it is hard to vulnerable these days and that could be true for some. Why? Past experiences have proven that you can be exposed or shamed because of what you have shared with others or they have been deserted because they did not fit in.
Vulnerability is truly an incredible gift.
The heart of our lives and the depth therein, is really a function of vulnerability and understanding the intricacies of relationships. I have a tribe who can ask any question and get an answer either immediately or when ready. Conversations are tagged and packed awaiting resolution and are never final until truly finalised. There is no judgement no matter what is done or said and there is deep accountability.
Who is in your pay system and who is not? Be sure to choose your partners well and grow together.