We are, inevitably, a product of our surroundings. As far as striving for greatness is concerned, we can feel bound by our surroundings. Because the struggle is so very real, especially when we are working to make our mark on this world, the very tangible feeling of succeeding in the face of modern struggles, like social mobility, inequality and the concerns of what is going to happen (especially post Brexit), can result in us finding ourselves at a disadvantage. And while triumph in the face of adversity is nothing new, the younger generations that find themselves struggling before they’ve even had a chance to get started is something the Baby Boomers and even the Generation X-ers may view as particularly harsh. But while it’s not relegated to the younger generations, everybody’s feeling the pinch. But what can we do to make our mark on this world when we are starting out with incredibly limited resources?
The Product Of A Good Education
There is this disparity between the rich and the poor, there’s no such thing as middle class anymore, you are either one or the other. And while social mobility and education go hand in hand, the privileged families can reap so many benefits, and pass this onto their children. If we see this in the wealth of figures in popular entertainment that come from private education, where the working class actors of repute now blatantly state that they would be unable to do what they do in the current climate. And when we are working towards greatness, but we continually meet the barrage of the rich, and their ease of getting by, it seems that to get into those closed circles, we have to get the right education. But even with the right education, we can still face continual obstacles, even when it comes to getting a job. For example, the consequences of something like a DUI on your job prospects, although it is such a little blotch on your record, can have detrimental impacts. As far as a good education is concerned, this is usually the gateway to a better life, as we’ve seen countless times in movies over the years where the working-class protagonist (satchel on their shoulder) takes a leap into a larger world. An education can arm you with the tools, but it isn’t everything.
Developing Your Internal Resources
Self-resourcefulness is something that is part of an impoverished background. We all find our way of getting by and learning about what we’re capable of. Because the concept of striving for greatness appears to be something that’s only for the super elite, it’s hardly a surprise that we’ve seen an influx of ways to develop our internal resources. Spirituality, self-care, mindfulness, the list goes on. But of course, these stories are incredibly inspiring, and it’s out of great hardship that great triumph comes. But we have to develop our own coping strategies. When we are born into impoverished environments, the struggles are real, but also our ability to weather tougher storms becomes a lifelong skill. But when we see those people that made something of themselves, but didn’t necessarily have everything handed to them on a plate, is the result due to them being self-sufficient in every aspect? Being an autodidact is one of those skills that appears to have made so many entrepreneurs, filmmakers, and the intelligentsia of the world figures to admire. This is directly linked to developing our internal resources. We need to discover exactly what it is that can help us lock onto a subject, and when born into a background of austerity, the power of reading appears to be a gateway to a larger world. Many prominent figures spent their entire childhood nose deep in books, and this is something that seems to have disappeared now. And while we have the internet, it provides so many superficial answers, rather than giving us the opportunity to figure out the problems for ourselves. And although this sounds particularly elitist, and in favor of books, the power of art, in general, provides escapism from the difficult social climates- “libraries gave us power” proclaimed one chart-topping group! And the power of information, but also learning how to dissect this information can provide us with a toolkit to see us throughout our entire lives.
We all have our role to play, and sociology would dictate that we all fulfill a certain part, when we strive to escape where we came from, there comes a time where we ignore the place that made us. In many ways, this is a folly of the youth, and when we are working hard to get out of this dead-end town, we make compromises with ourselves. We end up presenting a false image to the outside world, but as we get older, we gravitate back to where we came from. Regardless of your upbringing, and even if you have visceral hatred of your home environments, you still end up giving back at some point, because it makes you who you are. We are a product of our surroundings, whether we like this or not. And as we turn into the person we want to be, and we look at our past, when making that ascent, we become fond of our struggles. Once we achieve what we want in life, there is no more fight.
It’s a grandiose sentiment, but making our mark on this world becomes a challenge that we internalize. We make our own fate, and when we are born into an environment where we are at an extreme disadvantage, we can either escape our surroundings for a better life, or we can stay there, and make the most of it. But as history has shown us, for so many people who have come from a background of poverty and struggles, it is this that makes them, and gives them that fight to succeed. It’s important to know that, if you are feeling bound by small-town tribulations or a lack of money, or you feel that you’ve got nothing to give, some things come from nothing. In fact, many things come from nothing!