As humans, we spend a greater amount of our lives acquiring and amassing all sort of things, we acquire wealth, educational qualifications, titles even amass friends and enemies along the way.
We start yearning for and amassing these things from when we are as little as a button. Our needs as a species in the animal kingdom go beyond food, water and shelter. As toddlers, we need the love and presence of mum and dad to teach and impact different kinds of lessons important for the absolute development of the best possible psychological and emotional balance we need to thrive and survive as adults and any less of the presence of their presence, will lead you to hear things like 'she has daddy issues' or 'he is a mummy's boy'.
This is not to say that everybody who doesn't grow up with both parents in their lives turns out badly, but these phrases exist because of people acting a certain way frequently enough to be tagged and bracketed, and a good percentage of these people grow up without either or both parents.
I was watching a documentary on a certain serial killer in the US after he had been apprehended, and some journalist was giving him a bit of airtime. He said that some of his early struggles were down to the absence of his dad in his life (committed his first rape at 15). This was a 39-year-old man blaming the root of his crimes on his childhood because he didn't get something he thinks he NEEDED from his father.
Serial killers and social deviants aside, human beings seem to need many different things at every single stage of our lives, and when we don't get them, we act and lash out. We need the right amount of socialization, the most conducive environments to blossom, the right amount of everything, else we turn out as bad rotten eggs and become a menace to the wider society.
We need motivations to workout and lose weight, we need the inspiration to eat and live healthily. We need motivations to be morally upright and be good people and when we do a little good, we need cheers and validations to feel good about ourselves and what we did, we need a reward.
Yes, reward another thing we seem to need every time and it comes in many shapes and sizes, from essentials like water and food to luxuries like validations, titles and accomplishments.
We pride ourselves on our accomplishments, we wear them as badges of honour, we absorb them and make them who we are, let them define us, the essence of our being. A medical Doctor all of a sudden abhors the mention of his name without the Dr prefix, a police lieutenant never stops to remind you of his rank in the force, just like those high ranked military personnel, you just have to remember to address them "properly" if you want to be on their good side.
I reckon man's attachment to titles is his way of announcing his membership to the power strata, similar to the animals in the jungle. The stronger an animal is, the higher it is placed on the food chain, but since human power isn't just measured in brute force alone but in his socio-economic influence, then the higher the importance attached to his title, the higher his importance in the society and the more powerful he becomes.