Women in Technology

Hear us Roar

  I Don't Like Articles about Women in Technology
Subject:   Not a Binary Wrold
Date:   2007-09-14 06:13:19
From:   dikelmm
Does anyone remember what happened to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. years after slavery was illegal and Frederick Douglass walked the earth? I would say he took full responsibility for his life - but he got killed for it. He and Mr. Douglass were extraordinary men. Most people cannot live such lives. Were the Jews and others killed in the Holocaust failures? These seem to be extreme examples, but not all things that happen to you are within your control. Events such a those described above lurk just below the surface of almost any society. And they lurk in ours big time. Hatred, distrust, discrimination are the stuff of eveveryday life, even if you feel you have not experienced them. It is not a binary world - with either genocide and slavery or complete harmony. There is a flux in between.

There is a difference between making excuses and not trying or, on the other hand, working hard and smart your whole life and seeing little reward. This happens to many people in this world. You do not realize how fortunate you are, even if you are working hard.

If you think you have done it alone, without family, school, and other society support, you are wrong. But it is a young, successful person's perspective. It is based on your experience. But your experience is not the only experience. You are in the elite of this world, whether you know it or not. Some of your success is due to luck, or fate, or providence or God or whatever you choose to call it.

I would be interested in the perspective of a person with superficial knowledge of social history after 20 or 30 more years of living and learning something beyond IT.

Main Topics Oldest First

Showing messages 1 through 1 of 1.

  • Assumptions
    2007-09-24 11:09:42  AmyHoy [View]

    I find it interesting how people have misinterpreted what I have written. I think that if I'd been able to publish the longer, original version, it would have made more sense. But we all have to work within constraints.

    What constitutes success is an important question. It seems like a number of people who read this essay of mine came away thinking that I call financial or professional success the only kind; far from it, that's much less important to me than what I've learned about life, humanity, integrity and relationships.

    You can be successful in the most adverse circumstances if your beliefs dictate that rectitude of action, compassion, and following what's right are the most important kind of success. Or bravery. Or never giving up on (or renouncing) your faith. Or never failing a friend. Or facing your personal demons, the things that make you want to hide under a rock or fall asleep and never wake up. And you can -- and often must -- tread that path alone.

    For things like professional success, you can also go it alone. But typically, you'll need help. The people you trust and whose trust you earn are an example of something within your power to change.

    You can assume that I'm too young, too naive, under-experienced, and over-privileged. You'd be wrong, but that's your choice.

    I specifically chose to add my age to this essay not to go "look at me, look how successful and young I am!" but to bring this kind of bias out into the light. I knew some people would write me off because of it, but it was a sacrifice I have been willing to make.

    Extraordinary people exist in every walk of life, in every kind of circumstance. Many of them have little or no good fortune to back them, but that's what makes them extraordinary, isn't it? I challenge the very idea that "most people cannot live such lives." Whether or not they become famous is another matter, but the ability is available to everyone.