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Sunday, December 8, 2013

How to be successful...

....well, in the long term, you must be capable.

But how do you become capable?  Through hard work, right? Hard work at what, though? Hard work at the opportunity given you, I think.

So, I guess that you have to have the opportunity to become capable, then.

How do you get opportunity?  It can be beneficial to have a family with connections, to get you in the door at the right schools, the right jobs.

What if your family doesn't have connections, though?  What if your Mom or Dad didn't go to the right schools, or don't have an occupation that allows them to know decision makers?

What if you happen to be the wrong race or creed? WHAT IF you are a first generation American whose family emigrated to a small town in the US from Pakistan to make its life better.  What if you quietly practice the religion of your ancestors, and that religion is not the dominant one in your town?

What if you are gay?

What if you are a woman trying to break into a male dominated field?

I didn't come from a wealthy family, full of connections, but I did have an ace in the hole:

I'm an average looking, straight white male of fairly standard height, weight and intelligence.

That advantage opened several doors for me, and gave me the opportunity to show those in power what I was, and would be, capable of. I've taken those opportunities when given, and have tried to make the best of them.

I think it is pretty easy for those of us who've had certain opportunities handed to us, to sit back and criticize those who aren't successful as lazy (and sure there are those folks out there), but  I think that is a little simplistic.

I'm pretty thankful to have my particular advantage.  I wonder what would have happened if I didn't have it.


2 comments:

  1. We each have a portfolio of privilege. Some are larger and more productive than others, but few people care to acknowledge their portfolio.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We each have a portfolio of privilege. Some are larger and more productive than others, but few people care to acknowledge their portfolio.

    ReplyDelete