Merit and Success are Related I believe in people who immigrate to America; they have the same dream-“American Dream. ” The people who have the “American Dream” surely believe the U. S has meritocracy, which means they aware that there are plenty of opportunities to be successful in America if ones have good work ethic, put in their full effort to their careers, have an open-mind set, and willingly catch up with the newest technology, they can be successful. Unfortunately many people still stubbornly think success is mostly not due to merit, instead believe these elements such as luck, wealth, family background, or even races.
Overall, I never see anyone who is lazy, laid-back and careless can be successful, but I do see people who work hard, always keep up with their learning, and are sensitive to any opportunity that leads them to be very successful in their career. Absolutely, the U. S did not abandon meritocracy, “American Dream” still exists in American Society. Recently I visited one of my friends who lives in a million dollars house up to Shady Canyon, in Irvine. She is not only very successful in Business, but also a good wife and a good mother. Her son got accepted by US Berkley last year; I met her through my cousin.
At that time she was a very poor international student in Cal State Fullerton, her family in China could not support her at all. She went school in the day, and worked in a restaurant at night. I used to ask her why she spoke English so well, sounded as if she were born in America, I never forgot how she answered me, one day she figured out that she had to learn and speak English well in order to live in America. From that day on, she observed how little kids learned to talk, coming to the conclusion that the simplest way to learn a language is dare to talk, even make mistakes, to not be ashamed, and learn through the mistakes.
Her learning attitude totally reflected her life. After many years I met her again through my cousin’s new house warming party. At that time she had just opened a business which helped small companies install accounting software. She told me that her business did not make money for the first year, being competitive with big companies which already have clienteles, her company had to offer cheaper price and free maintaining service in order to attract customers.
Her whole family complained that she should keep her job, since she had been promoted as a division manager and had made such a decent income. At same time they reminded her that she was a Chinese who was not born here, America was a “White people’s” world. She shared with me that she just wanted to challenge herself; she believed hard work would pay off no matter ones’ race. She shared a quote with me, “you can observe a lot just by watching. ” She stated that being sensitive to any opportunity will help ones succeed in life.
I listened, but did not quite understand. Until that day I met her in her house again, and knew her business had become very successful. I understood her belief that she shared with me back then. Being born wealthy, into a family with a lot of power and influence, or white race may open ones ‘doors to get success, but it does not mean ones with none of those privileges don’t have any opportunity. Last summer my older sister excitedly told me that her daughter made it to UC LA; I was very shock, too.
She barely spoke any English when she came to America three years ago. My niece supposed to finish her degree in one of best university in China, and then her parents can help her find a decent government job. But she did not like china education system, she willingly took the risk to go to a community college in US, and transfer to university later. At the time her parents refused her request, but she told her parents that she had researched about the admissions of community colleges, like if students can maintain certain GPA.
They still have opportunities to attend some top UC universities, during two years in a community college; students will have some time to figure out what major they would like to study when they transfer to university. Not like college students in China are not allowed to change major. She told her mother that she believed in merit, how much effort people put in equal to progress they receive. Her parents were touched by her persistence, determination, and encouragement; they decided to send her to America for further study.
Three year later, she did make her parents proud of her; she successfully transferred to UC LA, and studied the major that she liked. Through my niece’s story, people can see any hard work will shorten the distance to success; definitely merit is the path to success. Moreover, unsuccessful people view success and merit is only weakly related, but successful ones strongly believe that success and merit are related closely. Keeping up ones’ American Dream, even though nobody ever guaranteed ones success in America… But it just does not hurt to give oneself a fair shot like my friend.