I really liked your example of not doing well in school but trying very hard and not succeeding vs. getting good grade and not trying hard but still succeeding. Trying hard is s component of meritocracy but as we can see from this example it is not the determine factor to launch you into something better. I want to counter your argument that most people are not self centered. I believe that at the root of most people they have the desire to excel for themselves. This drives them to be at least a tad bit self centered to get to where they want to be. It’s unavoidable. I do think that there are some people who defy this notion but I also think those people are rarities.