Margaret Mead The Egalitarian Error Analysis

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Success is something that every person looks at differently and in America it is something that is strived for every step of the way by most typical people. The idea of success is planted in our heads at a very early age and is embedded in our culture as a part of the American Dream. Ways that success is approached are different depending on what drives a person, whether it's competitiveness or a strive for greatness. A competitive approach to success is described in Margaret Mead's essay The Egalitarian Error when she writes, "For many Americans, the concept of success is a source of confusion. As a people, we Americans greatly celebrate and admire the one who gets the highest grades, the one voted most attractive or most likely to succeed.…show more content…
This drive for success and comparing oneself to another begins very early in life, especially if you have brothers and sisters, or even cousins. Even if you are close to the other children in your family, striving for success for each of you, is like a secret battle. This battle is typically based on who is more favored by parents or grandparents, whoever is the most successful will be the favorite. For those who don't have close family members to compete with or compare to, their battle for success begins when they enter school, and it's based on the same concept. Students tend to compare themselves to one another to see who is more successful, who has better grades, who is prettier, who is better at sports, who has more friends, who do the teachers like more. It's a process we all go through and continues all throughout our educational career, that's why the valedictorians get to speak at the graduations, not just every ordinary student that is graduating. Even later in life, in the workplace, employees are always comparing themselves to the other employees, trying to be better than the other, trying to more successful than the other to be able to get that next big promotion. Business compare themselves to one another, trying to sell more…show more content…
People do watch and read the news and when they hear about the accomplishments and success of a random someone half way across the nation or even half way around the world, they give a little thought to it, but it doesn't go to their head as a challenge or competition. But the accomplishments and success of someone that is close to them, whether it be a family member, teammate, or a co-worker, it will go to their head and they will compare their own success to that person's and strive to be better and more successful than them. I agree with Mead on this point because I, like most people, have gone through the competitions and battles while climbing the ladder of success. But just because we are constantly comparing ourselves to others and wanting to be better and do better than them doesn't make us bad people, it's just who we are, it's a cultural thing because we are Americans just living the American Dream, it is encouraged for every person to strive for
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