Friday, April 4, 2014

Entitlement vs. Dreams

So a young African American teenager has made it into eight ivy league schools! Yay for him. But as usual, people online have a problem. However, as a university professor myself, here is one exchange that sticks out to me:

I don't care what color a person is. This boy obviously has what it takes. What the schools are 
looking for are more than just scores. They are looking for someone who is driven, and this kid 
obviously. So those of you who would like to play the race card, you need to take a hard look into yourself and figure out how you can be more accepting of others' accomplishments, no matter what color they are.

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      Lol you are completely missing the point here. You need to realize that there 
      are people who have higher scores on every single category but still rejected 
      from ivy league schools. Maybe you just don't know how it feels to be rejected 
      from your dream school that you probably worked as hard (or harder) as that 
      african kid.
    Here's the problem for me in jonbaek1's response. People seem to think that just because they worked hard for something, and dreamed about it, and put their all into it, that they are somehow entitled to get this thing they have worked hard for.  Musicians know all about hard work, study and practice and getting….mmmm….nothing. You can work hard for YEARS, DECADES even, and still be making less than a secretary. You can be at Lincoln Center one day, and playing on the street the next.  Working hard and dreaming doesn't entitle one to get anything.

    I deal with this type of thinking all the time as a university professor. An "A" doesn't just magically happen, and I'm not changing your grade because you put your all into it. If you did not reach the standards set for an "A" grade, I don't care how hard you worked, how talented you are, and how much effort you put in.

    The entitlement culture is not just a poor people's issue, it is a society-wide issue. No one is more entitled than anyone else to anything. That's not the way the universe works. This "african kid" did the work and got rewarded. Some people feel cheated by this. They feel their place has been usurped simply because this "african kid" got A PLACE.  Are his dreams less important than other's dreams? What makes others more entitled to get their dreams than this "african kid"?  

    H-U-M-A-N. Who decides who is human…

      1 comment:

      1. Hey Alison,
        unfortunately, we still live in a society where people think only white children get into college on their own merit, and since minorities are somehow inferior, they always need "a little extra help". It's a total encroachment on their entitlement. Hopefully we can celebrate all children's accomplishments someday instead of only deeming some kids as more worthy than others.