Rank Decisions . . . . .


Have you ever been ranked?  Have your efforts been ranked?  By others?  So.  How does that feel?

Amazon lists a rank number after the description of each book, the number (I assume) reflecting how popular the book is.  The number showing for my book today is 475, 694. That could smart a little, except for the fact the book is new and relatively unknown . . and the fact that the number was way over 500,000 last week.  If it ever worked it’s way up to the top 1,000, even, that should feel good.  But, you see, it has a long way to go.

I got to thinking about the word “rank”.  It has many meanings.  It can show you’re just in the ranks . . or you’re rising in rank . . because someone is ranking you.  It can mean there’s a bad smell somewhere, when something has sat too long.

We can be ranked in our family by being the #1 child, either by the order in which we were born . . or by being the parents’ favorite.  We are ranked in school by the grading system, and ranked socially by kids who decide who should be their friends.  But, hopefully, these numbers are temporary in importance.

I have never felt I was in a social rank, something we call a class.  Where I grew up in Iowa’s farmlands, everyone was considered about the same and no one I knew ever looked up or down at another person.  People tell me I am innocent or a Pollyanna, that our country does have a social order.  I guess if you want to accept that, it is then your reality.  I have been deeply disturbed by the way the word “class” is bandied about these days and used for political purposes.  It is people ranking people, and some people were not particularly affected by this until they were made aware . . and encouraged to look up or down at others.

If someone wants to insist that I am in a certain class, then someone must decide what class that is.  I must be ranked.  But I will smile and wink at their decision and their innocence.  I am what I am, and I just am.

But, about the book, as far as I know it’s rank on Amazon shows only how popular the book is by the number of book sales.  It does not show how popular the book is among those people who have bought and read it.  I see the book has one review, and that is great.  A few more will help the customers to decide if they might like the book or not.   A few more, on Amazon or iUniverse or Barnes and Noble would certainly help the author to forget the number 475,694.

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