Re: Poll: How meaningful are other people's aikido rank to you?
For me working with other students to prepare for their tests, and sharing vicariously in the experience of testing, is part of the whole community experience--it matters to me, even though the rank itself is not that big a deal.
We did testing for our 7-12 year olds yesterday, and I definitely felt good to be part of their accomplishments. I was especially pleased by the seven-year-old white belt. We told him that he didn't need the pin for koteoroshi at his rank, even though the yellow-belt kids did. He frowned thoughtfully, hunted me down at the break and said, "Teach me that pin." So I did, and he did it quite competently on his test. I like this kid, and I'm proud that I could help him.
So I said "somewhat." I would miss it if it went away; but I'm happy to train with people of any rank, and always learn from it.