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I agree it is important to always keep in mind only you are responsible for your own actions and the consequences/achievements that derive from said actions. And it is very true that hard work pays off much more than talent.

However, whether by lack of life experience or sheer naivety you are missing a huge point here: success is not only about the effort you put in. If it was, life would be fair. But it is not.

Sometimes people put in a lot of effort, and it still doesn’t work out because they encounter many setbacks in life that you wouldn’t even be able to fathom. Growing up in the first world, getting support from both your parents and the government to study, having gone to a good school where you were taught all you needed to continue higher education, all of this while you count on a healthy body and mind… Those are privileges many people don’t have. Some people have to do with the few resources they get from life, and sometimes that is not enough to succeed in the same way as someone who doesn’t have these limitations.

Calling those people’s lack of success their own fault shows nothing but ignorance and conceit.

You seem to have inspired this post on a few conversations you, me and some other students of IBM recently had regarding depression, ADHD, autism and other limitations in life such as not having a good enough educational background. While I fully respect your lack of experience -and therefore, ignorance- on the matter, I will say this:

You can’t “just” ask people to do things they are physically/mentally uncapable of. When you do, you are only showing a self-involved will to prove yourself better than others, and a worrying lack of empathy.

Expecting someone who has issues — like concentration issues, psychological problems, economical ones — to succeed as much as someone with a healthy body & mind whose only responsibility is getting good grades, the occassional student job and playing videogames in their spare time is unrealistic.

As unrealistic as asking someone who just broke their leg to run a marathon.

I’m happy you keep such a positive attitude, everyone should realize that success is in their hands. But we must never forget that not everyone has our same privileges, and while for you it might be really easy to “just” study, there are people with other conditions that don’t let them “just” do the things they have to do in order to succeed.

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