You Might Work Hard But You Haven't Struggled
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The Struggle Is Real

But It Might Not Be A Struggle

24
The Struggle Is Real

Struggling and working hard are not the same thing.

Allow me to explain.

Oftentimes when someone talks about their hardships in life, having to "struggle" to overcome things like poverty or prejudiced, someone who hasn't had to deal with anything of the sort will chime in with "yeah well I had to WORK HARD to get where I am too! Nothing was HANDED TO ME on a SILVER PLATTER ok? I WORKED for what I have!"

And they might have. But they're missing the point.

If someone was born in a middle-class family, went to public school, studied hard, got good grades, went to college, studied harder, took out student loans and worked summers to help pay for it, graduated, got a job, and kept at it until they were promoted and living comfortably, they'll probably balk at someone telling them that they haven't struggled in life.

And everyone defines the word "struggle" differently. So maybe, according to them, they did struggle. Maybe they were never the smartest kid in class, maybe things never came easy for them. Maybe they were waitlisted for college or didn't get into their top choice, but they picked the best college they got into even though it wasn't near home, and it certainly wasn't cheap.

They had a family to support them. A good education. A good home. Food on the table.

They had opportunities presented to them. Opportunities that they then took and worked hard at. But opportunities others might not have had.

Let's look at another scenario.

A person is born into a lower class family. They also go to public school, but it's underfunded and overcrowded. They work hard and study hard and things don't come easy to them but they keep working and studying. But they have to take a job, not just a summer one, not yet to pay for college, but just to help pay the bills so that they can have a place to sleep and food to eat. So they don't get as much time to study or do their homework or hang out with friends and just be a kid. And their school performance suffers a bit because working a job and going to school at the same time is hard when you're a teenager.

But they graduate and get into college. Not as good of a college as they might have gotten into if they'd had more time for extracurriculars or if they'd been able to afford a tutor, but a decent college. They chose it because it's close to home so it'll be cheaper to commute.

And in college, they work hard, both at their job and their classes. They're not a top student, and sometimes they're too exhausted from working to make it to class, but the teachers like them.

The other students don't, though, and on top of the stress of bills and work and school they have to deal with whispers and digs about their appearance, how their clothes are worn and old, how sometimes they smell strongly of fried fat from their job, how they're the only student without a laptop`so they always need a partner in class to do online assignments.

Outside of class, they have to do them at the public library, but none of their fellow students know this or care.

So they graduate and get a job and it's not the best job but they're a hard worker and they're good at it.

And maybe they get a few promotions and then one night at an office party they bring up how hard they've worked and how much they've struggled to get here, and their boss overhears and says: "yeah well I had to WORK HARD to get where I am too! Nothing was HANDED TO ME on a SILVER PLATTER ok? I WORKED for what I have!"

And their boss is the same age as them. Same gender. Same race. They even look alike. So the boss has no reason to think that their employee has any disadvantages, right? They just didn't work hard enough. Maybe they're just stupid or lazy. Maybe it's bad luck.

But it's not. It's a systematic disadvantage.

I purposefully didn't get into how race, gender, sexuality, religion, appearance, and more can affect how you're treated in life and how you have to struggle to get ahead because I know not everyone can see or agree with things like that.

I just talked about wealth. That's it. And even that can affect SO MUCH of the struggles someone has to deal with in life.

Did Person A work hard to get where they were? Yeah. Did Person B? Yeah. But they ended up in different places. And if they'd ended up in the same company with equal jobs, Person A might have thought that Person B was just whining because obviously, they made it to the same place! So Person A KNOWS how hard you have to work to get there!

But they don't. Because they don't know about Person B's life or their struggles.

See the difference?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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