The privileges of prosperity.
“…our background has a way of picking our interests even though we assume we are in control. It is not likely that we make any decision without any external interference.”
I have not thought much of how a man’s background can influence or hinder his altitude in life until recently.
Here are my observations as influenced by thinking on life examples:
- We were told of Dangote’s rich uncle who lend him his startup capital. Many of us have Several uncles, why are we not another Dangote?
- It was said that Bill Gates had rich parents who can afford a private school that has the privilege of owning a computer terminal during the outset of personal computing and riding on that privilege he is who he is. Of course in combination with other factors. Did you say there are many graduates of private schools who are not doing well as much as those who attended public school?
- I know of my cousins who are lawyers or are becoming lawyers simply because their father is a lawyer. You have not heard of them yet but there are several others you know about and one of these include a man known as Mr. Femi Falana (SAN). I’m not telling his story per se, but that of his son who is also a lawyer even though most of us know him simply as Falz. The persons involved may convince us it is just a matter of interest, but is that the whole truth?
- Anyone who is familiar with the Nigerian politics will know the name, Obafemi Awolowo. The person you may not know is one of the children who rose to become the publisher of Nigerian Tribune, a legacy of his father. The name, Chief Oluwole Awolowo. He was known as a gentle but a hardworking man and one will not doubt that such an intelligent man was a product of Chief Awolowo senior’s loins. What I cannot put off my mind is would Chief Wole have been a publisher/vice chairman of a renown newspaper if his father had not founded one?
- There is a man who gained prominence in an unlikely time. He was a prince of the Kano emirate, Nigeria. Even though western education seems forbidden to some class of people of the land, it can safely be assumed that one major reasons education is forbidden is because these people cannot afford it. Mr Lamido Sanusi’s parents can afford the cost of western education and they offered him the best of it. He became the governor of the central bank of Nigeria and from there retires to become the emir. I will allow you deduce the Question this time. Did you say “would it have been possible for the Mallam to have become the governor of the central bank if not that he came from the privileged home of royalty who saw education as a right for their ward?”, what more can I say?
Times, Chance and Privileges
Let’s restrict ourselves to these few examples, they are enough to pass across the message that privileged background has a lot to do with how much success we will garner in social terms.
You see, if you also have the same background as Dangote, with the kinds of responsibilities he has, you are most likely going to turn out the same way.
If you are to be a child of my lawyer uncle, you have 3/4 chance of becoming a lawyer, that is 75% probability and my little statistics tells me that is highly significant. If I put it mildly, I will say you have 75% chance that you will pick up interest for law.
I believe you can see that our background has a way of picking our interests even though we assume we are in control. It is not likely that we make any decision without any interference. No matter how insignificant the decision is, there is something that made that decision biased towards the preferred conclusion.
From the day Bill Gates was born, something has started making a bias for him in becoming who he is today. When it was announced that a baby boy has been delivered of Mrs H.I.D. Awolowo, something that was at work with Bill Gates was also activated in the baby Wole. I may call it “something”, but king Solomon calls it “times and chance”.
Times and chance are not the exclusive preserve of the privileged but it works with the privilege to facilitate choices that made them in a short time apparently privileged and successful
There is something interesting about the kind of privilege Emir Sanusi Lamido enjoyed and is still enjoying: he was born into a royal and an aristocratic family, this guaranteed his education but only gives a probability at becoming an emir. His was a practical example of the interplay of times, chance, privileges and responsibility. If he were to be born in the years of his own children, he will likely never be the central bank governor or the emir. It was times and chance working with privilege to place the burden of success on him.
Privileges and responsibilities
There is an argument that can be made for all the persons mentioned, that is, success did not come to them on the platter of gold. Yes and no. They had an “unfair” head-start in life and that to me is a platter of gold, but one thing that must be said is that these individuals did not squander the privilege, they were responsible for their lives, but that in itself was by privilege. Their being responsible, even though has been by choice, but they can not in all fairness take all the credits, their responsible ancestors has primed them for responsibility.
It is therefore a valid hypothesis that our background has a way of picking our interests even though we assume we are in control. It is not likely that we make any decision without any external interference.