Following up the topic. I wrote about yesterday, I was surprised about my own half sentence in brakes, stating, that I hate what the term “elite” implies nowadays. I obviously had put it down intuitively, without giving it much thought.
What made me do so? And what did I actually mean?
Merriam Webster explains the word with:
: the people who have the most wealth and status in a society : the most successful or powerful group of people
: a person who is a member of an elite : a successful and powerful person
Full definition of ELITE
1 a the choice part : cream “the elite of the entertainment world”
b the best of a class “superachievers who dominate the computer elite M. Chase”
c the socially superior part of society “how the French-speaking elite was changing Economist”
d a group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence “members of the ruling elite”
e : a member of such an elite usually used in plural “the elites , pursuing their studies in Europe Robert Wernick”
2: a typewriter type providing 12 characters to the linear inch
So, unless we are talking about typewriting, the word itself always described the top of the pops. Best out of any group assumed or factual, the ones in power or the cool crowd. And surly there were times in history, when those in power were fewer in number than today (rulers, tyrants, chieftains, aristocracy, popes etc). However, when I grew up, I was taught, everybody was equal and had equal chances to be successful. As long as one worked or studied hard enough, one could make it to wherever one wanted to go. And even if this was not wholly true, one had the impression, it could work. Public schooling was good enough to qualify everybody well and one had to actually push hard, not to learn, what one needed later on.
But if I look at the young folks coming out of school today, their shortfall in everything basic (maths, writing, understanding texts, interest for problems and solutions, capability to express themselves) is so substiantial, that many will struggle to tie down even simple jobs. What a waste! And something, I simply can’t understand and accept, without being able to help it. Maybe this is the reason for my anger.
And then there are the lucky few, whose parents can and make sure, their offspring gets into the “right” schools, gets the extra help they may need to make it through. The ones who will succeed later on. Not so much by choice or effort, but simply because their background was right. Something went awfully wrong. And praising the existing standards in comparison to, say, lesser developed countries, doesn’t help at all.