Jul 9, 2010

Driven Desire

Does privilege breed apathy or lethargy? For the longest time I argued that it did not, that the nature of an individual was what caused apathy or lethargy. but perhaps the idea that having more opportunity than one knows what to do with can just as easily be a hindrance as it can be a boon. I have been accused, in the past, of not being "hungry" because my parents did well in providing for me. Because I was never deprived of that which I needed, (noted I did not say wanted) I never have fully appreciated or felt the drive to earn something. This argument also states that I will never be truly successful because I will never know what it is like to desire something that cannot be easily gained.

I take offense to this argument on general principle because it assumes that without "hunger" or struggle one cannot fully appreciate success. It also suggests that it was a mistake to provide so well for me without some type of counter-balance because it makes me soft and not able to truly handle the reality of the world. That reality being that one has to go out and and get what they want for themselves and can't/shouldn't rely on someone else to help them. While I agree that the effort put in towards a goal is directly proportional to the success of meeting said goal, I chafe at the idea that "hunger," in the sense of deprivation, is the only way to measure success and fulfillment therein.

I think with privilege, or providing for people, it's more of a desire to equal if not succeed those who provided so much for you. I know what drives me, apart from wanting to be successful, it is the desire to live up to the high bar my parents set in terms of success and comfort. From my position, I need to do at least as well as them, both successful lawyers, if not better. The reality remains that I am not driven by trying to fill a lack that I experienced when I was younger, but rather attempting to live up to and surpass the exacting standards set by those who came before me.

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