While I am writing this, I am finding myself within ear-shot of a number of teenagers discussing when they received their first PlayStation Consoles. The butt of the joke currently being the one chap who shares that he received his first PlayStation 2 in 2015.
I have spent a great number of hours contemplating success, prosperity, wealth and riches. And I have devoted a number of hours studying some of the most successful people that have ever walked the earth. Without a doubt, I can come to the early conclusion that success, in whatever area or sphere you wish to measure it in, cannot be duplicated or passed on.
“Your starting point, wherever that may be, does not have any bearing
on your true potential or trajectory in life” ~ Elgee Davies
When the rich parent dies, he may leave his empire to his heir, however, it does not automatically make the heir successful. Nor does it in any way place any advantage or limitation on said heirs future output. The same is true for a person born into poverty, lack and struggle. Your starting point, wherever that may be, does not have any bearing on your true potential or trajectory in life. Though I am fully aware of the current chasm between the ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ and the ever-increasing gap between individuals previously advantaged or disadvantaged by racism and oppression.
Success for the individual who walks into an inheritance will certainly be different for the individual born on the other side of the track, yet if both where to be measured on their individual Achievement against Starting Point we should have an accurate depiction on true success.
Getting back to the Playstation discussion; the late bloomer is the subsequent joke of the discussion purely because he received his first console around the same time the majority of the others went on to Play Station 4 Consoles. To illustrate what I mean by measuring Achievement against Starting Point, an accurate measure of success would be to gauge current gaming ability against the number of years playing and rank each based on skill level reached over the years.
If one individual receives his driver’s license at age 30, buys his first car at 32 and only buys a home at age 45. Based on today’s standards, he would be measured up against a youngster who went to go study in Cape Town, moved into a flat bought and paid for by his parents and drives to university in his car bought by his parents or grandparents.
So, not having achieved anything, not having bought anything valuable with money he worked for. He would be regarded as on par with a 45year old who was the first in his family to go to University, worked 2 jobs to pay for his studies, took on the responsibility of providing for his siblings, cousins, and in-laws; yet still managed to purchase some assets.
In a society where the topic of race, privilege, and equality comes up in any argument, discussion or debate; I am not interested in tackling the issue of past wrongs and its lingering stench in society today. I wish, however, to ask that we become a little more understanding, accommodating and aware of the other persons’ position before we jump and defend our own.
With the recent attention directed to Zimbabwe and the historic events unfolding, I wish to take all South African back to a few months ago when we discriminated against “these foreigners taking our jobs and opportunities”. Their position has changed and strengthened significantly since then, in contrast, our position has taken a number of turns for the worst. While we have fought for #FeesMustFall and #ZuptasMustFall, they took action and took their country back. Which effectively means, unless our situation drastically changes in the very near future, we may end up the foreigners taking their jobs and opportunities.