Depressed! Maybe disheartened is a better word. It’s this whole concept of entitlement over merit and I can’t seem to get ahold of it.
Recently, I was asked by a mother to call a University and impose my influence upon them to help a kid get into the school. When I suggested that my influence would cause another student, who’d merited entry, to lose his/her spot, the mother harbored no remorse. When I confronted the kid about it, the kid said the following, “No, it isn’t necessarily morally correct, but that’s the way the world works. I see people using their influence all the time to get what they want, even when they don’t merit it. It’s not going to change so I’m learning to work within the system.” This is an honor student, one of the next generation’s leaders, a notion, which now dispirits me.
I know changing the world is too big a task for most folks. I understand that making inroads into political corruption or corporate responsibility or human incivility appears daunting. But someone has to start somewhere, right?
To me, making that phone call on behalf of the kid would reek of irresponsibility. It would suggest that power and pressure and wealth are more influential than merit. It would teach him the world does run by those rules and that within that system, he doesn’t have to have ambition or work ethic. That would not bode well for any of us.
Imagine a world where power and wealth determine access. Do we already live in that state? Imagine the arrogance one would attain with enough money and clout. Imagine if that was the lesson we passed on to our kids. Frightening, eh?
Alas, in spite of the mother and child’s indignation, I cannot be a part of that process. I am shutting down my phone and heading off to do something productive for myself.
Hopefully, the kid will follow my lead.