Author Topic: Success even after self-destruction: A criticism  (Read 40914 times)

Nera

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Re: Success even after self-destruction: A criticism
« Reply #150 on: August 10, 2016, 08:59:48 AM »
Thank you, guys!
Ethan, you are truly an inspiration.

Gin1984

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Re: Success even after self-destruction: A criticism
« Reply #151 on: August 10, 2016, 09:15:12 AM »
I'd recommend reading this for a much better explanation of why 'I worked hard for what I got' is still completely laced with privelege: http://www.vagabomb.com/This-Comic-Will-Forever-Change-the-Way-You-Look-at-Privilege/
Yes, that cartoon has been mentioned several times.  What is not clear (at least to me) is, if we assume privilege exists, what one is supposed to do as a consequence.  Any thoughts?
Be aware of your bias.  Ask yourself if you would judge the person as harshly if that person was like you.  If you are in a hiring situation, look at qualifications prior to the name (which will influence your judgement of the qualifications). 

MDM

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Re: Success even after self-destruction: A criticism
« Reply #152 on: August 10, 2016, 03:50:27 PM »
I'd recommend reading this for a much better explanation of why 'I worked hard for what I got' is still completely laced with privelege: http://www.vagabomb.com/This-Comic-Will-Forever-Change-the-Way-You-Look-at-Privilege/
Yes, that cartoon has been mentioned several times.  What is not clear (at least to me) is, if we assume privilege exists, what one is supposed to do as a consequence.  Any thoughts?
Be aware of your bias.  Ask yourself if you would judge the person as harshly if that person was like you.  If you are in a hiring situation, look at qualifications prior to the name (which will influence your judgement of the qualifications).
Those all seem very reasonable suggestions, whether one assumes privilege exists or not.  If that is all that is being suggested by the comic writer and others, then there seems no problem.  Always thought there was something "more" implied but maybe not....

SwordGuy

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Re: Success even after self-destruction: A criticism
« Reply #153 on: August 10, 2016, 06:00:14 PM »
Hello, everybody!
I am new to this forum and this is my first post.
I wanted to say that Ethan's letter to MMM is very inspirational to me. I am not this blog's target demographic (at least, as I perceive it) as I am currently unemployed because of mental health problems.
But, let me tell you that even my situation does not stop me from getting my life back on track, mustachian style. My husband and I are paying off our mortgage quickly and I am investing the rest of the money for our retirement. I started saving like a madwoman (no pun intended) since I got ill and discovered that it actually helps me get better because it creates peace in my life. That is my main motivation to stay on track. Financial stability creates a peace of mind and that is essential for people with mental health problems.
As I am trying to get back to work, Ethan's letter motivates me a lot. I saved it and I read it every day. It's not easy to find a job and keep a job if one has metal health issues, but I know I can do it.

Yeah, you!  Woot!

You made my day, too!

SwordGuy

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Re: Success even after self-destruction: A criticism
« Reply #154 on: August 10, 2016, 07:08:28 PM »
I wish people would be more compassionate. :<

What does that mean, exactly?   

Let's pretend we have a young boy sitting here with us.  He's from a very poor family.  The family line has been poor for several generations so there is no "in-family" knowledge of any other way of life.  Let's say he's 13 years old.  His name might be Antoine, Bobby, or Carlos.  Let's settle on (rolls dice here) on Antoine.   

Antoine lives in the south side of Philly.   If things don't change he'll end up poor, or dead from gang violence, or in prison.

SwordGuy says, "Hi Antoine.   I'm SwordGuy.   Here are all my friends from the MMM website.  They are glad to meet you to."

Antoine says, "Hi."

SwordGuy says, "We just want you to know that we feel really badly about the situation you are in.  It sucks to be poor and to live in a gang-infested neighborhood with bad schools."

Antoine says, "So what?   Does that make you feel better about yourself?   What's in it for me?"

Antoine is a bright fellow, you see.   He's figured out that empathy for his situation, by itself, isn't worth a damn to him.   He'll still be hungry.  He'll still be poor.   And he doesn't give a rat's behind that we'll feel better about ourselves for being such caring, compassionate, empathetic people.   I don't blame him.

SwordGuy, being an honest and very direct fellow, says, "Well, you hit the nail on the head there, Antoine.   But not to worry, we're waging a 'War on Poverty' this very minute.  In fact, we've been doing so for 50 years!  Things are bound to get better for you."

Antoine says, "50 years!   You folks have been fighting a war on poverty for 50 years?   When are you going to win it?  I'm hungry when I go to bed.  I'm only 13 years old and I'm already tired of being poor!"

"Well, not such good news for you there, Antoine," answers SwordGuy.  "According to this Pew Research study (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/01/13/whos-poor-in-america-50-years-into-the-war-on-poverty-a-data-portrait/), the poverty rate in 1964 was 19% and in 2012 it was down to 15%.   So, at that rate, you can sit on your ass awaiting victory and your family members will no longer be poor in another 200 years.    Unless you're one of the lucky ones who get out of poverty at the front of the line.  Tell me, Antoine, do you feel lucky?"

"FU and your friends!  And your F'n empathy!" answers Antoine.

Antoine doesn't need platitudes.  He doesn't need our empathy.  He needs help because getting out of poverty is hard.   

We can try to help him out as a group, by trying to get appropriations for needed programs to help him out, but that's a slow process that, frankly, hasn't been working very well.   A 4% drop in poverty over a 50 year period is in no way a rousing success rate for this approach.

Since the War on Poverty sure as hell isn't getting the job done, he's going to need to plan to make it on his own while leveraging whatever help he can manage to find along the way.

And that's where we as individuals can help out. 

We can set correct expectations, that it will take hard work, smart work, and time to get out of poverty. 

We can supply knowledge that will ease the way in getting such institutional help as is available. 

We can provide training. 

We can provide employment. 

We can loan tools or other resources.     

We can teach the mindset of "Improvise!  Adapt! Overcome!".

We can provide sample plans that can spark different ideas about how to improve their circumstances.

We can help organize folks to band together and help one another out.

And we can aggressively do all we can to squash the idea that the poor are helpless and can't make things better for themselves.   

And educated on these fields. Social science has been researching and validating things like privilege, microaggressions, tokenism, and the glass escalator for years at this point. These are entry level concepts for people studying these fields or living these realities. Talking about them is not whining or anything like that and it's not up to debate whether they exist or not - they exist and we need to talk about these issues to fix them. It's several data driven fields of study.

Talk about them all you want.  Study them all you want. 

Shucks, that might even help someone someday - provided that absolutely nothing in that process includes the idea that the poor are just helpless pawns in life who are totally incapable of doing anything for themselves.   

That's because teaching people that they are helpless when they are not is just plain evil.


marty998

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Re: Success even after self-destruction: A criticism
« Reply #155 on: August 12, 2016, 05:46:32 PM »
I wish people would be more compassionate. :<
What does that mean, exactly?   

/Snip

And educated on these fields. Social science has been researching and validating things like privilege, microaggressions, tokenism, and the glass escalator for years at this point. These are entry level concepts for people studying these fields or living these realities. Talking about them is not whining or anything like that and it's not up to debate whether they exist or not - they exist and we need to talk about these issues to fix them. It's several data driven fields of study.

Talk about them all you want.  Study them all you want. 

Shucks, that might even help someone someday - provided that absolutely nothing in that process includes the idea that the poor are just helpless pawns in life who are totally incapable of doing anything for themselves.   

That's because teaching people that they are helpless when they are not is just plain evil.


It's called a "culture of low expectations" down here. The privileged expect that people from low socioeconomic backgrounds dow not have the capability to better themselves... therefore apply unconscious bias when not selecting them for opportunities for advancement in education and work.

Nera

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Re: Success even after self-destruction: A criticism
« Reply #156 on: July 06, 2017, 06:34:32 AM »
Hey, guys!
I'm back with some great news - I got the job!!!
After a few years of not working because of my mental illness I am finally taking my life back on tracks.
This all happened after I've found this blogpost with Ethan's letter. It inspired me so much!!! It litteraly gave me the courage to go out there and get my life sorted out.
Nobody ever believed I could do it, but I did it. And I love what I do as well. I used all the tactics Ethan described. I even worked for free, just to prove myself that I can do it. And it payed off. I will get descent salary which will go directly to the mortgage payment.'
I have noticed that even I, years on the disability checks, am ahead of many of my colleagues with their living above their means. My mortgage is almost payed off and Ihave some savings on the side. It shocked me how the working people live so richely (multiple vacations, mortgage, 2 cars, takeouts for lunch,...) Hey, I can now join the "I overhead on work" thread ;-)
Anyway, I just wanted to share this and to thank Ethan again.

arebelspy

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Re: Success even after self-destruction: A criticism
« Reply #157 on: July 06, 2017, 09:53:16 AM »
Wow, I love to hear that! Congrats!  Thanks for the one year update.  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

actualethan

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Re: Success even after self-destruction: A criticism
« Reply #158 on: July 06, 2017, 10:55:22 AM »
That's great Nera!  Really glad to hear you are doing well.