Today: Apr 23, 2024

Gaining success in the face of social bias

Whether it be our connections, affiliations, or reputation, bias always exists. But despite this, we can still strive for success to accomplish our goals

Jessica Giannone, General Assignment Reporter:
President Barack Obama: a nationally known, self-accomplished, successful public figure, as people might label him; a person who obtained the powerful position he sits in today, with the skills he demonstrated, and the help of thousands of people.
Pause for a minute. What about the help of thousands of people? Aside from his knowledge, charisma, appearance and background, how exactly did he wind up being voted to lead a country? Okay, he racked up Democratic support, but what about his connections? And I don’t mean he cheated his way into presidency. What about his political connections? Did they matter?
Well, this question is obvious. Of course they mattered. But the question is, are our connections, affiliations and reputations so strong they “over-conquer” ourselves? By this I mean, how much does the true person you are really matter, if you are in the right place in the right time with the right people?
The idea of politics has been around for God knows how long; meaning every position or material you strive to acquire has something to do with your social relations; it is due to matters other than your ability or will; just pure BS you could say.
I’ve come to realize that no matter how true something seems, there is always room for social bias. You can be the greatest, most dedicated, hard-working, creative person in the joint, but all of that serves nothing if you haven’t gained the personal approval of the right people.
Let’s say you’re applying for a position that only requires you to record information; the only characteristics demanded for success in that position are to be good with numbers and cautious in calculations (you have to be careful not to record the wrong thing); you wouldn’t be making contact or communicating with anyone. Now, let’s say you show up to your job, demonstrate that you are serious about your work, but are rude. Let’s say you’re a horrible, mean person that shows no respect for anyone. These characteristics have nothing to do with your ability to get the job done, but if no one likes you, you can bet you’ll be out of there by noon.
Well, duh. No one wants to be around someone they don’t like. But the true matter here is that you would be fired for something that has nothing to do with your ability to achieve your duty. You didn’t fail as a worker; you failed as a “political person.”
This is the way it’s always been, and I don’t foresee it ever changing.
The point is, however, that we have to question the value of everything
we obtain. Is everything we believe we should be proud of a result of our personal attributes, or of how other people perceive us?
What seems true isn’t always true; another obvious phrase of life. It kills me to say that your hard work is sometimes the least of the equation. Shouldn’t that be the thing that matters most?
Bias seems inescapable; even if you’re a journalist, which requires you to remain neutral and consider all sides of a story to report the truth. You may do a good job at this, and not let your biased views interfere with your work, but you can’t escape your opinions. Not everyone
can tune out their inner voices. It isn’t comforting to know we can’t trust everything we hear, but the bottom line is, not everyone is honest and stays true to their jobs. There is always the chance of some kind of personal motive to gear people behind their decisions.
Getting back to the President, if he didn’t gain the connections and approval he did, where would he be today? Yes, that’s the whole point of presidency, but are all the people who run our country just results of mere politics?
It scares me to think that everything important in the world wasn’t gained without a social boost, or that everything that wasn’t obtained was probably because of a lack of social BS.
This certainly shouldn’t mean that you give up on striving for success
on a personal level, but sadly, sometimes, that’s only half of the demand. As we aim to accomplish our goals, we just have to be wary of the world around us, figure out how to manipulate it, and realize that bias is always present.
“Hey, Tony, I talked to my buddy Rick, you got the job.”
Oh, I bet Tony is a tremendous worker.

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