Success and Mead

Topics: Success, Praise, Writing Pages: 2 (675 words) Published: December 11, 2007
America has always been about competition. Without competition, America would not be able to succeed in updating our world. That's what America is all about: success. Success is a key close to all Americans that all try to strive for. Our success may come in different measures, but no one ever is trying to fail in life. People want to succeed. The difference is how we measure success, and how success is measured and interpreted. Margaret Mead, from The Egalitarian Error, describes her idea of success a source of confusion. Mead says this because she believes that we celebrate the success of others only when that other successful person is one that is not close to ourselves such as an acquaintance or other unfamiliar person. But when that successful person is someone close to home with ourselves- such as a family member, close friends, or co-workers- we tend to become jealous in a sense scowl on their success rather than celebrate it. According to Mead, "As a people, we Americans greatly prize success. We are taught to celebrate and admire the one who gets the highest grades, the one voted most attractive or most likely to succeed." We all try to be the best student, to feel that sense of praise when we get that test back with that A+ grade written on the top of the essay. The essay that took you 3 days to write, the essay you worked so hard on to do the best job possible, and to see the A+ that you earned. That is success. With success comes the next best thing in technology, new records in athletic events, and higher expectations. If America does not strive for success, then America does not grow as a country. The measure of success is in the eyes of the beholder, and according to Mead the opinion is the same throughout American society. Mead states, "But while we often rejoice in the success of people far removed from ourselves-people who work in another profession, live in another community, or are endowed with a talent that we do not especially...
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