An animal’s rank determines how it interacts with others, when it eats, where it drinks, how many times it must play sentry and what it's responsible for.
People are ranked by status--what kind of social influence they command, how much money they have or what skill they can offer.
When an animal doesn't know its rank it goes into anxiety ridden psychosis. Apparently when a person doesn't know its rank it marches up to Wall Street. But I see that more as a problem with over-estimating their rank.
One might fail to comprehend that common doesn't mean bland or unimportant. Common people have majority. They are the bulk of the herd. There is nothing wrong with that. Usually the majority of the herd have a pretty cushy life. They get a good meal, they are protected by their peers in case of attack, and they are the "normal" in social interaction. What it boils down to is security in your social-ability means you know your place in this world.
If you want to raise it, then do so. There is still a place for unique among the common. One doesn't have to be exclusively one or the other. Abraham Lincoln--a common man. Martin Luter King--a common man. Yet they were unique in that they knew their place in this world and what they wanted to do. That's my example for those who ask, "How do you rise above?"
It's really okay if my face book page doesn't have over 5,000 friends. I'm not sure I could keep up with that many. And I'm not insulted if you haven't read every post or responded to every blurb. These are just pages in a diary of a common life. Sometimes what makes a life extraordinary is how it's told. I ride horses vs. the stories of "The Little Boot That Couldn't" or "We Never Get Past The Smiley Faces" are common because they are everyday life. I KNOW you have a story much like one of those. So you see I'm common too.
Those who don't want a common life just need to see theirs in a different point of view. I'll tell you I have a boring life and in the same breath tell you I ride an un-commonly large 19 hand horse everyday. Is that common? For me yes! For you maybe not so much. But really this idea that you must have "a well paying job" or a skill that everybody needs, or know everybody on the planet seems more like fun goals than a social need.
More to the point what you need is knowing where you stand to let go of the insecurities of social pressures you place on yourself. It takes knowing who you are and what you want. Knowing that is the ladder for getting there. If it's on the backs of society it's not really you getting what you want it's relying on the efforts of others.
But there is one thing you might not think of. It's okay not to have every gadget on earth. It's okay to be low man on the totem pole. Low man doesn't mean worthless (which is the problem I perceive as to why no-one wants to be "the last"). Here's a story that will illustrate my point.
Studying wolves brought me to a case of a pack of 5. We will call them Brutus, the leader. Nu-nu, his mate. Sentry, the one who stayed watch most the time. Scout, the successful hunter and then there was Goofball.
This was a common pack. Iconic stern leader with a mate as tough as nails but sweet. A loyal side-kick with mettle, a wiry un-detectable scout and comic relief that was a complete and utter mess. All of these traits are common and each one knew who they were and what role they played. I've listed them from top rank to bottom in order. Brutus being the "top dog".
You could say it was a condensed version of a king, a queen and their subjects. The "low man" and most common of them all was Goofball. He had no amazing nose to seek out food. He wasn't faster than the others; he wasn't great at sneaking up on prey. In fact one day when they went out during a winter hunt he eagerly pounced too soon and spooked the herd making their efforts worthless. Then it was an ostracizing session--a horrible display of why you always listen to the leader ensued and Goofball came out with half his left ear gone.
Goofball got back into Brutus' good graces by "dancing", pup barking and tossing his part of their successful kill (to which Goofball only received the skin to eat) around in a helicopter motion. Goofball would screw-up regularly but had that common trait of making everyone laugh. One day Goofball's antics got him in trouble and he never came back to the pack.
The four searched for him for three days. On the fourth, fifth and sixth night of his loss they sang his lament. Goofball was not skilled; he was low man on the totem pole and the most common of all wolves in a common wolf pack. And he was sorely missed. So It wasn't his un-impressive skills as a hunter it was his "social security" of his place in the world that made him loved.
He was last and knew it and he was fine with that. In fact, when Brutus was in one of his bad moods Goofball was the only one who could come near him. It was his last place social status that allowed it. The most submissive was no threat to Brutus and often made him "laugh".
So think about it--are you starving or do you just feel jealous that you don't have everything that the Jones' have? Humans need shelter, food, and water to live on. Companionship is easily found. Anything more than that is a bonus not necessity.