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Meritocracy – Thank the System

Will they be able to make a career out of violin?

The mold is too small for me!

It probably is too early to tell, but the Mule thought Mathematics might not be the Chieftain’s strength. The Chieftain’s has demonstrated his mathematics skills here and here.

Furthermore, out of the 3 core subjects, the Chieftain seems to have “problems” only in mathematics, that is, he made more mistakes in his math homework than his mother tongue and English. The Chieftain is more of a right brainer– he is a lefty and responded very well to music since baby. He enjoys pure music, like music from John Williams, David Garrette, and to a certain extend, Joshua Bell. He would occasionally switch the radio channel to classical music in the car too.

As much as the Mule would love to support and develop the Chieftain’s interest, there is this lingering fear that, he might be a reject in the current education system where the emphasis is on science and mathematics even though we often have the words “holistic approach” being thrown to us left, right, and center. His merit will be determined by his capability in science and mathematics, through examinations.

There are a few things the Mule can do to boost the Chieftain’s chances in the current system:

  1. Forcibly push the Chieftain through the mold, give up on his interest, and put him through endless tuition as much as the Mule can afford.
  2. Push him all the way in his violin, while maintaining a tuition for his academic subjects, and hopefully his skill is good enough to be a concertmaster for a back door entrance to a good secondary school.
  3. Cleverly switch him to another instrument where the road is less congested, example, due to his size, he might be suitable for a double bass, and be courted by schools that demand his skill in their String Ensemble or Orchestra.
  4. The Mule could join the his Alma Mater’s Alumni, and couple with points 2 & 3 above, should help to boost the Chieftain’s chance.

If you are born with a knack for mathematics and science, things will be a lot different. It all comes naturally to you and it is something that you can do well and score well, you are made for the system. If your strength and interest is something else, bad luck, put in a little more work, because your merit is judged on skills that you despise. Console yourself that if you are able to move through the system, you will emerge stronger– you can be a doctor and a violinist at the same time!

Finally, another message to the elites a highly successful person, don’t congratulate yourself too much, besides thanking your fortune, thank the current system, because you fit into the mold nicely or your parents are shrewd enough to maneuver around it.


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