Comparison of my ideas with those of William Zinsser
Upon reading William Zinsser’s article titled “The right to fail”, I found myself being in agreement with most of his ideas on the topic about the standards of success in the modern era. As described by Zinsser, the society that we live in nowadays equates success with material possession. By most standards, to be successful you must be driving a fancy car, have lots of money, dress in the latest and most expensive attires and have people following you around and hanging on every word you say. Just like, Zinsser I think society is missing the points in regards to setting the right standards to measure success.
In his article, Zinsser is of the opinion that the word “dropout” is applied wrongly by society especially in regards to addressing teenagers or young adults who fail to complete college or tertiary education. As a matter of fact, Zinsser thinks that when youngsters drop out of school they could be as well as “dropping in” on other important lessons in life. I agree with him that success does not have to be restricted to the same beaten path of going to school, getting a job and amassing wealth. There are other measures of success key among them being the impact a person has on others and society in general. Apart from gaining wealth, there are other ways of being successful such as serving the community at different levels.
Zinsser’s argument is that although someone may fail to complete school as a teenager, there are other ways of learning and excelling in life. He observes that even if teenagers who fail to find their footing without going through the ropes of formal education, do not lose much as for them there is still plenty of time to learn and make up for past mistakes or lost opportunities. As a matter of fact, Zinsser is the opinion that the term “drop out” better applies to adults who fail to launch in their careers or other important aspects of life. I agree that sometimes dropping out of school does not necessarily spell doom for an individual since there are many ways to excel in life even without formal education.
As discussed in the article individuals who drop out of college and seek new ways of finding themselves find if therapeutic to search for the meaning of life and to find themselves in other ways apart from sticking to the path of education as the key to success. Zinsser goes ahead to give a few examples who left school and tried new things which eventually brought them more success than they would have ever attained by remaining in school. Unfortunately, according to Zinsser society still sets the standards for success thereby downplaying the exploits of such individuals. According to my understanding, it is highly advisable for an individual to search for the meaning of their lives even if it means taking the less beaten path.
In conclusion, Zinsser observes that nobody has the ultimate answer on which is the best way to achieve success. It is therefore imperative that individuals chart their own paths to success as the end always justifies the course taken. I totally agree with him that individuals should strive to set their own standards of success and then map out the ways to achieve their identified level of success. This is the only way true happiness and self-actualization can be achieved for a better future for the whole world in general.