silhouette of man at shorebreak at dawn or dusk

Exercising Our Right to Self-Determination

Self-determination:

free choice of one’s own acts or states without external compulsion

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Nothing prevents self-determination.

Nothing.

You decide who you are by what you do.

Photo by Autumn Goodman on Unsplash

Blaming our situation on the past prevents us from succeeding in the present.

And we cannot hold ourselves accountable for who we are or what we could achieve.

While we offer pity and treat certain ethnic groups like they are less capable, we rob them of the rewards gained from struggle and independence. The result is intellectual slavery manacled by good intentions.

To expect less of them is saying, “I don’t believe you can,” and “You are less.” No one has the right to impress this mindset on another, especially not under the guise of offering help.

Black boy student sitting at wooden school desk in foreground, wearing light blue shirt and a nice smile, holding paper and pencil
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash.

By setting the same expectations of all students for behavior and work, a school sends the message: “We believe you are all capable.”

It’s going to be harder for some.

That’s alright.

Character and confidence thrive in such soil. Consider:

Did they ask for things they didn’t earn?

Did they make excuses?

Did they allow someone else to draw their fate because of their ethnicity?

These, and many other Americans, constructed lives out of unrelenting focus, a vision of what could be, and daily get-up-and-go grit.

Every one of us is capable of creating a good life.

Photo by Ariel Pilotto on Unsplash

A difficult journey will require more focus and work, resulting in a full life. This specific model of success is innate to the American Way of Life.

[Asians are the highest-earning ethnic group in the United States because they scraped by, working their asses off when they emigrated – unaided by sympathy, programs, or financial aid. The only advantages Asians have are a willingness to work very hard, limit spending, and maintain strong family ties. Anyone can do this.]

Our country suffers because we got talked out of valuing sweat and industry. We agreed to buy a lemon social ideology because it was easy and shiny.

We know better.

Act

Decide who you are. Then every day wake up and prove it.


References

“Benjamin S. Carson, M.D.: Pediatric Neurosurgeon and Public Servant.” Academy of Achievement, updated 3 August 2018, https://www.achievement.org/achiever/benjamin-s-carson/. Accessed 26 November 2019.

Andrews, Evan. “Andrew Carnegie’s Surprising Legacy.” History.com, updated 29 August 2018, https://www.history.com/news/andrew-carnegies-surprising-legacy. Accessed 26 November 2019.

Biography.com Editors. “Oprah Winfrey Biography.” The Biography.com website, updated 24 September 2019, https://www.biography.com/media-figure/oprah-winfrey. Accessed 26 November 2019.

“Cesar’s Way.” Cesar’s Way, https://www.cesarsway.com/. Accessed 26 November 2019.

“The Duke Kahanamoku Story.” Duke Kahanamoku, https://dukekahanamoku.com/the-duke-kahanamoku-story/. Accessed 26 November 2019.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Frederick Douglass.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 29 August 2019, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Frederick-Douglass. Accessed 26 November 2019.


Featured photo by Lenart Lipovšek on Unsplash

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