Tuesday’s column from Dr. Thomas Sowell. Been too busy to do anything but post the link. As usual, my thinking goes so closely with that of this brilliant man that I’m beginning to wonder if I’m smarter than I always believed…nah, probably just more delusion.
That said, if you believe racism, discrimination and anger (hatred) at the achievements of others – whether or not the others are of a different race – are exclusive to this country in our lifetime, you are sorely misinformed. Divisions between people because of looks, status, education and MONEY have been around since…well, “since Man first crushed grape,” I’d say, if I comprehend anything about History. It did NOT begin OR end on the North American continent.
Here’s a bit from the Doctor himself:
Achievements are a reflection on others who may have had similar, and sometimes better, chances but who did not make the most of their chances. Achievements are like a slap across the face to those who are not achieving, and many people react with the same kind of anger that such an insult would provoke.
In our own times, especially, this is not just a spontaneous reaction. Many of our educators, our intelligentsia and our media — not to mention our politicians– promote an attitude that other people’s achievements are grievances, rather than examples.
You see, people seem to believe that achievement is a RIGHT, not a blessing. Dr. Sowell has experienced a life unlike my own – black in the South – but also so similar in many ways – poor, hardworking, with no bitterness at his ‘plight.’ As I read his words, I know my intelligence wasn’t what kept me from being Doctor Grandma Karla – it was that I didn’t value achievement and education enough for myself to work for it no matter what. I had another calling, walked a different path. I admire him so much for what he has overcome…I certainly don’t hate him for it. That would illustrate a smallness of mind that I refuse to participate in. His achievements are not a slap in my face, they are a representation of the opportunity ALL men and women are offered in this great country of ours.