I am a fan of Formula One racing. A driver I took note of (that has since retired) is Nico Rosberg. He retired right after winning the championship. He has said in multiple interviews that in order to get the adequate performance he had to give up everything outside of racing (and family). All he focused on were exercise, racecraft, and driving. Nothing else mattered. Yet he still barely won.
Modern society forces you to either inherit everything, rely on nepotism, have an extreme level of skill in an area society deems useful at the particular time you are alive or be lucky to be extremely succesful. Usually all four.
There is another method.
Extreme obsession. Dedicate every day in your life for weeks, months, maybe years to an ideal or goal. If you have a hobby it has to be part of this goal. For example, if you decide you want to the best veterinarian in the world then your hobby better be volunteering in animal shelters.
That is where the problem lays. Nico Rosberg grew up the father of a world champion driver, was teammates with one of the greatest drivers ever, Lewis Hamilton, from childhood. He was also gifted with the natural talent to drive at an elite level. Nepotism, talent, luck, skill, inheritance. He had it all. He had all that and it still took for him to become maniacally obsessed with winning for years to barely win,
We live in a world that rewards sacrificing everything for a chance to become elite. That is the nefarious aspect, it is not even guaranteed. You just have to be all in for ‘a chance’.
The consequences of this are that men are encouraged to be less participatory at home in order to keep up with the other men and single women. The women are either punished for picking up the slack at home or called bad mothers for participating at work with the same zeal as their male counterparts.
We are not allowed humanity, we pass these traits on to our children. They barely see us since we obsess over how to be more successful to buy them things. We buy them things to make up for our absence which teaches them that their worth is in the things they own. We teach them that school and career are all that matters. They grow up and continue the cycle.
Ask a Nigerian between the ages of 10 and 40 who they look up to. Most will say Dangote, Alakija, Adenuga, the Obamas. They might say Jay-Z, DIddy or Beyonce except that is still more to do with their ability to make money than any charisma and talent.
We can claim to live for our families, for our gods, for our community. When all we really live for is wealth and showing said wealth.
I do not have the solution to this beyond deconstructing capitalism. I do know that it is hurting us, and is hurting our offspring.