By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Prestige Race Can Be Rejected

Ivy League logoImage via WikipediaYou know that rejecting the cult of elitism is indeed an option. I speak to people and have known people who are mesmerized by the notion that they or their kids must be in the most prestigious college possible. I wonder why I do not share the same mesmerism, even though for me academic and intellectual matters are of such high importance.

I think that my indifference arises because I intuitively know from my own life and as a matter of common sense that a young person who attends even a "good enough" college, where they are happy, where they can be part of an honors program, where they work hard, where they take advantage of the best academic offerings and enrichment experiences available, will ultimately be professionally successful in any area he or she chooses and indeed live a happy and fulfilled life.

Yes, if you want to and can get into a particular prestigious college, "go for it" if you will find fulfillment in your choice. But it remains silly to automatically and reflexively practice the idolatry of social prestige that hypnotizes so many. This idol, like all the other idols, is not what will make you happy and successful. What will make you happy and successful is within you. You do not have to be a slave to the prestige mania of society. You can follow a different path that can be just as, if not more, satisfying. Many, including me, have taken exactly this route and are flourishing.

Take a look at this link for a saner, more sober view of reality. (The link is apparently quoting from Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers.)
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