Of course, like with everything, some people are eternal optimists while others prefer to be defeatist, but one thing’s for sure: they can probably agree on some basic standards to use for measuring success.
If you went far, you must be smart.
With respect to education, achievement is defined by how far you’ve gone in school – if you went far, you must be smart.
Of course, those who occupy positions of power have usually gone to school and tend to earn more than the ordinary worker. As such, being able to afford certain things such as a car or luxurious items show your spending potential; a potential that is ultimately translated into how wealthy you are and thus, how successful you are.
I will succeed no matter what
I have tales from my mother explaining how they were beaten in school if they hadn’t done their homework, gave a wrong answer or spoke a language other than French on school grounds – yes, the French brought along their language and forced it into the education system of the nations they colonized. Now think about the ordinary child, who is still expected to do chores at home when they returned from school.
When are you supposed to do your homework and study exactly?
That strength of character
My mom explained she would come back exhausted and was expected to cook, clean, and take care of other household chores. When everyone would go to bed, this is the time she would study, using an oil lamp.
Not many people would understand or want to go through this kind of struggle and a lot of them would drop out of school at a young age to focus on the household.
One could argue that those who managed to succeed in school in those days had to be really tough, borderline stubborn. They were the ones with enough willpower, motivation, intelligence and strength to go through the curriculum almost completely out of their own motivation.
In today’s world…
Years later, things are changing but a lot of people on the continent are struggling to feed their families or afford basic needs such as medical assistance.
The real standard of achievement is being able to afford anything they would want to afford.
Achievement Standards: An African Perspective (Middle East)
What are your thoughts on how success is measured in your culture?
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