Presumptuous or not, I'm going to assert that more people are suffering from low self-esteem and hence more susceptible to anxiety and depression in part due to the prevalence of snobbery in our society.
Alain Botton, in his 2009 TED talk defined snobs as people who take a small part of you to come to a complete vision of who you are, and that the opposite of snobs is our mother - the ideal mother who loves us regardless of our achievements.
It certainly feels like so.
My take: If someone is sussing out your credentials and/or social status to decide if it's worth their effort according respect and/or spending time talking to you, you have encountered a snob.
Snobs instil inferiority in others to assume superiority
Eleanor Roosevelt said that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Well, no one can but a society definitely could. As social beings, we tend to internalise the feedback we receive from our social experiences. When a society treat certain groups of people like they are less; their achievements are insignificant; they have nothing valuable to offer, they will start to believe that.
Snobbery, in contemporary times, exist subtly but surely. Snobs may simply find an excuse to avoid engaging with you after realising that you have no impressive credentials; money; power; authority; connection and/or the potential to have either of these.
Snobs are committing self-snobbery without realising it
Make no mistake - snobs struggle with low self-esteem too because the yardstick they use to measure other people's worth is inevitably the same they use to measure their own. And by nature of comparison, they can never measure up. Snobs are doing themselves a huge disfavour by practising snobbery.
We are the ones encouraging it
Social hierarchy simply arrange people according to the resources that individuals possess. But why should we accord respect and love according to how much and how valuable the resources
Majority of us belong to the middle class. If we think it's okay to treat the people below us with less respect and love, aren't we also telling those above us that it's okay to treat us as inferior?
No wonder so many of us are feeling not good enough in one way or another.
Love will heal the psychological wounds of our society
When was the last time you felt someone was genuinely interested in knowing you with no regard for your credentials and/or social status? Being treated with respect and love or simply being acknowledged of your existence not because you are somebody but because you are you?
If you've ever been at the receiving end of love and kindness, you know how great that feels. Conversely, if you've ever found yourself at the opposite end of it, you also know how negative that makes one feels.
Recognise that we're all vulnerable and share common fears and insecurities. We all want to feel worthy and know that we matter.
Ditch the need for comparison or competition.
Be kind to yourself and others.
Love thyself and others.
We don't have to step on others to lift ourselves up.
As a friend of mine nicely puts it, 'We're all just walking each other home' (crediting you for this one, Bavani! ).
Let's walk each other home kindly and joyfully!
Because what kind of society do you want to be living in? One that only kisses the top and kicks the bottom or one that makes love and kindness accessible to everyone, and allow everyone to thrive on their own terms, including yourself?
P.s.: FYI, the highest point of human development is not having reached a certain high level in social status but the ability to love and be kind to others who are also not your family.