Luck determines success
|DO IT SOMETIME||What’s up? The person born in poverty, with no parental support, who scrimps to put himself or herself through college, finally achieving success through ceaseless suffering, owes their triumph no less to luck than, say, a Kennedy or Prince William. You didn’t choose your parents or most of your teachers; and in any case, you might not have been gifted with the self-discipline to learn from them.|
|What’s new? OK, but what if you taught yourself the self-discipline? Still luck: you were gifted with the sort of character capable of cultivating self-discipline. You still had to be the kind of person able to pursue it; and even if you became that kind of person by the sweat of your brow, you still must have already been the kind of person who could raise that sweat.|
|So what? All this is dizzyingly unsettling, but that’s just your tough luck.|
|SOURCE: The Guardian|
Among other things, this has interesting implications for the way we talk, these days, about “Privilege”. If it’s true that luck swallows everything, there is also a sense in which differing degrees of privilege are the only thing there is: your social situation is a matter of luck, but then so are your underlying skills and character. We should fight, strenuously, to make society less sexist and racist. The result won’t be a world in which accidents of birth matter less; it will be a less sexist and racist society, in which accidents of birth still account for everything.