does my social class determine my future

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Can your social class or financial status determine your fate?

Is it a must that you come from a certain social class in order to be successful in life?
Is it a must that you get high quality education in order to reach your goals?
Do you think that your social or financial status can prevent you from succeeding in life?

Some people were lucky enough to be born in a rich family, as a result those people get better education, have more resources and take advantage of their family's connections.

Now does this mean that a person growing in a poor family in a lower social class have no chance to succeed?

Before i can answer that question i need to first tell you the story of Michael. Michael grow in a poor family and as a result he got minimal education. he had around 10 brothers and sisters and so his family couldn't afford to provide a good quality of life for each of them.

He was passionate about reading and so he found a job as a delivery boy in a bookshop. As the owner of the shop discovered his passion for books he promoted him to work as a bookbinder.

A picture of Michael

Fighting the odds

Michael's passion for science slowly made him find his passion which is becoming a scientist. But this dream was almost impossible because at that time only people of a higher class and with a certain level of education were allowed to apply for jobs in science labs.

This didn't stop Michael and he started attending all science seminars and lectures to come in contact with famous scientists. Then he started sending them letters to allow him to work for them as an assistant but it didn't work.

For months Michael kept sending letters until one day an explosion that happened in the lab of a famous scientist made him in a serious need of an assistant. Michael took the job only to discover that he was almost working as a servant for that scientist.

Michael didn't mind working as a servant just to keep learning from that famous scientist. Day by day the Scientist became more dependent on Michael and started getting him more involved in the experiments until he was promoted to assistant.

Michael was restless, he kept doing experiments on his own and documenting everything he learns from the scientist until one day he managed to conduct an experiment that showed the direct relationship between electricity and magnetism.

Success can happen with disregard to social class or financial status

Michael's contribution to the world of science was really big. Here is what Wikipedia says about him "Although Michael received little formal education he was one of the most influential scientists in history"

Do you know who Michael was?
He is Michael Faraday, the popular scientist every children who goes to high school hears about. Faraday didn't just make his dreams come true be he also helped the whole world live better lives as a result of the discoveries he made in science.

Faraday's picture on £20 Banknotes

Lessons to learn from Faraday's story

  • 1) Limitations exist only in your mind: Faraday didn't even get any formal education yet he became a famous scientist because he was really passionate about his dream. The real limitations lie in your mind not in your social class or your financial status (see also How passion leads to success)
  • 2) Educate yourself: If you weren't lucky enough to get good education then educate yourself. Faraday couldn't afford a degree so he decided to work in a library just to educate himself for free (see also Why some people never learn from their mistakes)
  • 3)Passion leads to success: If Faraday didn't demonstrate the passion he had he would have never been allowed into labs, the scientist would have never made him an assistant and no one would have ever gave him a chance to prove himself
  • 4) Keep trying: For months Faraday kept sending letters to offices of scientists without losing hope until he got a job at one of those offices. When you keep trying you will always reach what you are after (see How to recover from failure)
  • 5) Luck is created: Faraday was born poor, got little educated and had no support from his family. By being persistent, passionate and strong he created his own luck and became a very successful man. (see Success & luck)

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