It is commonly believed that a person might shape the future according to his desires. However, certain factors which one grows up around and cannot control are often overlooked as insignificant. Nevertheless, they may serve as powerful forces which define one’s way of thinking, self-esteem, and worldview. Cultural legacies, including traditions, beliefs, and mindsets inherited from previous generations as well as resources of the community, shape the patterns of a person’s achievement and success; the crucial step in spreading the positive effect of these factors is high-quality education and a good example.
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Cultural legacies are standards, morals, values, stereotypes that are unconsciously passed on from generation to generation. According to Gladwell, these long-standing cultural patterns have an essential impact on one’s whole life (“Outliers Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis”). This might be explained by the fact that the logic of one’s actions might stem from his cultural background. Therefore, cultural legacies might be considered as a factor for success.
To prove that, Gladwell states that there are many math geniuses among the Asians (“Outliers Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis”). However, this is so not because of their exceptional math skills. Rather, it is because Asian children are used to working long (“Outliers Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis”). To one’s surprise, this might have its roots in the cultural legacy of hard work caused by rice agriculture. The point is, Asians’ reliance on rice led to hard work and perseverance, which explains their good math skills.
Upbringing also plays a key role in promoting one’s success in life. It is known that involved parents spend much time with their children taking an active part in their education, showing them how to communicate and socialize, taking them to places of interest, helping them with home assignments, and so forth. Important to note that children who are brought up in a family with a healthy atmosphere have adequate self-esteem, which makes them confident.
However, it has been proven that not only a child’s self-esteem could matter. In the research carried out by Carol Dweck, it was striking evidence that children of those parents, who praised them for high-scores, lied about their scores and had fragile confidence in their intelligence (Dweck). On the other hand, children who were praised for their hard work were more confident in their skills and were more successful at completing hard tasks (Dweck). Therefore, parents who encourage their children to cultivate intelligence through efforts stand a chance to bring up successful adults.
Proper technological equipment, stable financial security as well as high qualification of teachers aimed at unleashing every single child’s potential might be viewed as crucial factors in bringing up a smart, confident, and successful person. Being an establishment where a child spends a great part of his life, the school serves as a powerful tool for shaping one’s self-esteem, worldview, communication and learning skills, as well as willpower. Special attention should be paid to teachers who become not only lecturers but also mentors.
Even though not all of the above-mentioned factors might be brought to the community, some of them might be successfully implemented. In particular, it is an acknowledged truth that parents play a huge role in the life of their children before they become adults. That is why parents should be better educated in terms of how to raise their children; how to encourage them; how to communicate with them if they did something wrong; how to teach them to interact with other people. In other words, parents should be aware of what impact their upbringing will have on children and how to make them grow up to be confident and successful people.
Apart from that, it should be taken into account that values, traditions, and beliefs that are respected by parents will be respected by a child as well. Therefore, parents should do their best to act as good examples of ethically and culturally educated people.
Truth to be told, not all families might give their children a solid base for growing up. That is why it is important for schools to take up some of the parents’ responsibilities. A school teacher might be a key figure in dealing with this issue as he or she should understand the cognitive development of a child and the importance of teaching kids to be independent and fully-fledged personalities.
According to Gladwell, in order to minimize the achievement gap in schools, pupils should study cultural legacies in order to trace factors that influence them (“Outliers Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis”). Understanding the logic of cultural patterns leading a person to success is a key factor that might help compensate for the lack of those patterns in one’s upbringing. As Gladwell claims, it is the cultural environment, hard work, and hours of practice that could make one a successful person (“Outliers Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis”).
One might argue that if a person does not have certain advantages which increase his chances at success, people have to be educated on how others became successful. For example, if a person learns that Bill Gates achieved his extreme wealth because he had spent much time practicing computer skills, a person will probably realize that hard work is the key to success.
To sum up, cultural legacies, upbringing, and education might have a positive effect on one’s success. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the way a child is raised by parents and educated at school. In particular, a child should be encouraged to work hard, learn how to communicate, and deal with difficulties. Learning how other people achieved success might also be of help as it will serve as a really inspiring example and give insights into the logic of success.
Dweck, Carol S. “Brainology: Transforming Students’ Motivation to Learn.” National Association of Independent Schools, vol. 67, no. 2, 2008. Web.
“Outliers Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis.” LitCharts. Web.
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“Outliers Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis.” LitCharts. Web.