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Debunking the Meritocracy Myth
A kid from a poor family works tirelessly, scores straight A's, and dreams of becoming a doctor. The meritocratic society should reward him, right?
Well, not so fast.
There's a glitch in the system.
Meritocracy - the ideology that hard work and talent will earn you success.
In theory, it's beautiful. In practice, it's often a mirage.
The harsh truth? For many, meritocracy is a lottery ticket, not a guarantee.
It's about access.
Rich kids can afford SAT prep. Poor kids can't.
Wealthy families can make donations to Ivy League colleges. Impoverished families can't.
High-income parents can provide networking opportunities. Low-income families can't.
It's not about the lack of hard work or talent. It's about the starting line.
And for many poor individuals, the starting line is miles behind.
Remember the story of Chris Gardner, depicted in "The Pursuit of Happyness"?
Gardner was talented. Gardner was hardworking. Yet, he spent a year homeless before finding success.
George Orwell was right, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
But here's the catch: Meritocracy isn't a myth because it's flawed.
It's a myth because it's misunderstood.
We need to redefine meritocracy.
It isn't about the outcome. It's about the opportunity.
The question isn't: "Who made it to the finish line?"
The question should be: "Did everyone get a fair shot at the race?"
When we redefine meritocracy, we won't just give out lottery tickets.
We'll make sure everyone's at the same starting line.
In an ideal world, a poor kid's dream shouldn't be just a gamble, but a goal within reach.
Until the day a poor kid's success isn't a fairy tale but a norm, can we truly say meritocracy exists?