SETTING THE SCENE
Never in the history of this country has unemployment been as high as it is. Never in the history of the country are there so many desperate youth wanting to have an opportunity. Never in the history of a country are there so many willing to give others a chance.
Why is it then, that those who are offered an opportunity simply shy away from it? They flee as if an angry elephant wants to take out its wrath on them. The fact that someone gets and opportunity and not use it, remains a great puzzle of humanity.
It is not often that a company is willing to provide a free education to an unemployed person. In fact, this opportunity would have been part of a twelve-month internship, after which the candidate would have had a chance to be employed in a full time capacity. Certainly, an opportunity such as this cannot be missed?
LESSONS FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD
Chris Gardner’s story is told in the movie “Pursuit of Happiness”. It tells how Chris had to compete at all odds for job as a stockbroker. Days went by where Chris did not have any hope but he kept on trying and trying – knowing that he needs to persevere if he wants to have a plum opportunity at a world famous firm. There were days that Chris believed the whole world turned its back on him. But Chris knew that giving up was not an option.
Google internships are highly sought after. Though thousand apply to be admitted on an internship, only a few hundred are given the chance. And, of the few that are given a chance, only a fraction may be lucky enough to be offered a job at Google.
There are many similar stories all around the world where thousand compete for a single opening that may or may not be offered to them. Yet, it does not discourage those hopefuls to TRY by being the best! With the exception of a few, candidates that compete for chances such as the Google Internship are highly qualified. The come out of college or university with very high marks. In fact, many finished their degrees or diplomas CUM LAUDE.
COMING BACK TO THE QUESTION
Being offered a bursary to study for free AND to earn a monthly internship stipend certainly provides some sort of stability to a person that would have been destitute otherwise. Is some income – no matter how small – not better than no income at all? Is a free education not better than no education at all?
In Afrikaans there is a saying that could be directly translated as “complaining with white bread in hand”. There was a time that white bread was the epitome of luxury in Afrikaans culture. Thus, the saying means that someone who has some luxury (even a modest white bread) will still find time to complain. Being offered a free education is exactly the same a complaining with white bread in hand.
Recently, Growth Institute offered someone a chance to get an education. At first, the person was eager to get on board. But when the person was asked to come in for an interview, all sorts of excuses come out. Thus, a golden opportunity was wasted.
THE AGE OF ENTITLEMENT IS OVER!
There seems to be a riddle of entitlement in this country and that it simply erodes all our competitive advantages faster than we can build such competitive advantage. It is time to realise the age of entitlement is over. We can choose to move forward by our efforts or to decay in our own unwillingness to try.