How do you support someone in need without creating a hierarchy? A start is developing a sense of humility about the limits of our ability. We are all in need. Very few of us are genius level rocket scientists pushing the boundaries of human thought. Even the genius tends to lack other skills that make them useless without being part of a team. People are essentialists. The problem with most meritocracy is not creating great incentives, it is believing those currently with merit are essentially better - i.e. superiority complex. Not that you know better now, but that you are better. Supporting someone in need without creating hierarchy starts with seeing the areas we need help. Learning the difficult skill of asking for help. Learning to see the strength in others. Paired with offering mutual support.