Different value systems.
The “academic excellence” value system. The “Who-has-more-money” value system. The “I-have-the-latest-Iphone” value system.
Value systems are like clothes. The higher you rank in any value system, the more expensive your “clothes” appear to people who subscribe to your value system.
To people outside your value circle however, your value system might seem profoundly stupid. You are like the emperor strutting around nakedly in “new clothes”. The people might say nothing, but they can all see your nakedness.
Think about it. Social climbing as a value system is foolishness to people who do not give a hoot about status. The “Job security” value system is madness to those who value financial independence.
It therefore follows that unless the value system we operate is universal to all humans, we are nakedly exposed in some way, dressed at best in filthy rags.
So… have you considered the value systems driving your life?