The Achievement Gap: Wealthy Vs Unwealthy


"People don't rise from nothing. Successful people are beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard, and make sense of the world in ways others cannot. It makes a difference where and when we grew up. The culture we belong to and legacies passed down by forebears shape the patterns of our achievement." - Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers book reference)

Please, after you read that exert, read it again before you continue on with this scribe. 

There is an obvious achievement gap amongst us. There has been ongoing research on how to close that gap. Children that come from a family of wealth are smarter than children that come from a family that is unwealthy. They are genetically smarter, they learn faster, they take education more serious. They are prone to success.. WRONG! 

According to research, the IQ of elementary kids were assessed. They assessed both wealthy and unwealthy children, and took children with the highest IQs, and followed them throughout their life. The wealthy kids were significantly more successful than the unwealthy kids assessed. Given all of the factors, the only reason the unwealthy kids did not reach much success was because they did not have a community to support them. - Malcolm Gladwell

The results to that longitudinal study says that wealthy kids are not smarter than unwealthy kids. 

So, what is causing this achievement gap? Let's look at 4 factors outside of the child's actual intelligence that may cause this large gap in achievement

1. Community

The community in which a person live in has a huge impact on their achievement. It shapes their mentality. If your community consist of homelessness, liquor stores, gangs, police brutality, drug dealers, and violence, then it does not support success. It actually create this survival mentality. The unwealthy (specifically Blacks and Latinos) has created this survival mentally, where we have to survive first because of our communities. Wealthy communities offer resources that promotes success. This creates a safe environment, where survival mindsets are not necessary. This allow kids to focus on success and use all of the amenities available to them. 

2. Exposure to success:

The communities these children live in will determine their exposure to success. Let's take a wealthy child and look at their surrounding neighbors. Being that the cost of living is extremely high in suburbs, they might have a big business owner, doctor, computer engineer, lawyer, dentist, psychologist, or pharmacist that live in their area (one if not all). That's just to name some occupations. They are already exposed to success. They have their resources at their fingertips. All they have to do is want it, and go get it. It makes a huge difference. Unwealthy kids are not exposed to that level of success on a daily basis. What unwealthy kids are exposed to is much different. Their neighboring adult peers may hold job positions such as a teacher, store manager, construction worker, security guard, and so on. 

3. Opportunity: 

Let's just bluntly say this: unwealthy children are not given the same opportunities as wealthy children. There it is! People do not like to believe this, but it is true. There's a lot to understand about the culture of poor, and the culture of rich, and how the structure of society is built to help the rich remain prominent in this system. When you are wealthy, and you have a massive network of wealthy associates, friends, and family, your children will become the beneficiary of your network, and more opportunities will be granted to them. I'm outliers, the author mentioned the tenth thousand hour, which is the amount of hours successful people out in to their craft I'm order to master it and become successful. Some were lucky to get granted with an opportunity that allowed them to master their craft, and others get those opportunities because of the resources available to them due to their wealth. 

4. Culture:

There are some things people do not understand about the culture of wealthy people, and unwealthy people. Their mindsets are different, and all three factors above play a big role in the difference between the two cultures. Wealthy people simply work hard to eventually let their money work for them. They absolutely do not trade their time for money. For the wealthy people that do trade their time in for money, they make their time worth a lot of money. They have more self worth. Unwealthy people simply trade their time in for money, which makes it more difficult to take risk because they cannot afford to lose money. That eliminates the time given to them to invest in their own dreams. Wealthy people have generational wealth, which means that money and possesions are passed down from generation to generation. Unwealthy people do not pass down wealth, and work so hard to live in today, that they forget to live to set a path for the next generation, and generations after. Sometimes, you have to risk it all to have it all. 

After reading this article, I hope you have a better understanding on why there is such a large achievement gap between the wealthy and unwealthy. Most importantly, I hope this provides enough knowledge for you to help close that gap.

Thank you for reading. Please like, share, and discuss with your peers