May 1, 2017 ~ 2 min read

The Myth of the Self-made Man

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In one of my classes we recently discussed some of the writings of Che Guevara. I found myself disagreeing with a lot of his views, but there was one passage that I found particularly interesting.

"Class divisions are determined by fate, but individuals can rise out of their class through work, initiative, etc. This process, and the myth of the self-made man, has to be profoundly hypocritical: it is the self-serving demonstration that a lie is the truth."

In a sense, I disagree with this idea because I believe we can make a difference by working to be the best we can be. I do however agree that no individual can rise out of their class alone.

It reminded me of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Foreword in Tools of Titans, "I Am Not A Self-Made Man".

Here is one of my favorite excerpts:

"It is not true that I am self-made. Like everyone, to get to where I am, I stood on the shoulders of giants. My life was built on a foundation of parents, coaches, and teachers; of kind souls who lent couches or gym back rooms where I could sleep; of mentors who shared wisdom and advice; of idols who motivated me from the pages of magazines."

No one, not even Arnold Schwarzenegger can make this journey alone. It's up to each of us to help each other out, not because we have to, but because we want to.

What can you do today to help create the next "self-made man"?

Maxi Ferreira

Hi, I'm Taylor . I'm a software engineer/maker/amateur chef currently living in San Francisco. You can follow me on Twitter , see some of my work on GitHub , or read about my life on Substack .