Joseph Filkos Aug. 15 column, Our successes are of our own doing, demonstrates an absence of the qualities a successful person should have: humility, imagination, mercy.
Had he been born about 5 miles west, in North Philadelphia, he would have quickly found out about lack of access. He would have gone to schools that were inferior, smelled bad, were dangerous and were supported by a tax base much less than the one he went to.
Had Filko examined his own classmates, he would have found some whose parents beat them up, who were suffering from depression, were raped and who got drafted and sent to Vietnam, never to be the same.
Our successes are always part luck or good fortune. Any understanding of epigenetics makes this clear. Results are not the same for the same behaviors. Had Filko been born gay or grown to only 4-foot-5 or encountered similar challenges, he might have seen the world differently.
Success seems, in his column, to be the product of hard work, yet the U.S. has the lowest rate of upward mobility among modern nations.
There is a cultural lag in Filkos argument. While hard work and entrepreneurship are vital in all cultures, they no longer ensure or even contribute to escape from poverty.
There is an assumption that becoming rich constitutes success, yet many rich people dont appear to be successful: Donald Trump, the Koch brothers, Charles Sheen, etc.
Are you a success, Mr. Filko? If so, give thanks for your great good fortune.
Geoffrey Godbey State College