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This is one of those articles that is never dated.
Rose, one of my favorite authors, writes:
Let me repeat here what I’ve written in every other commentary on grit. Of course, perseverance is an important characteristic. I cherish it in my friends and my students.
- I always have bus fare to get to school.
- I hear my parents talking about not having enough money for the rent.
- Whenever I get sick, I am able to go to a doctor.
- We always have enough food in our home.
- I worry about getting to school safely.
- There are times when I have to stay home to care for younger brothers or sisters.
- My school has honors and Advanced Placement classes.
- I have at least one teacher who cares about me.
Rose notes that the people Angela Duckworth studied were highly successful.
The foundational grit research primarily involved populations of elite high achievers—Ivy League students, West Point cadets, National Spelling Bee contestants—and people responding to a Positive Psychology website based at the University of Pennsylvania. It is from the latter population that the researchers got a wider range of ages and data on employment history…
It is hard to finish what you begin when food and housing are unstable, or when you have three or four teachers in a given year, or when there are few people around who are able to guide and direct you. It is equally hard to pursue a career with consistency when the jobs available to you are low-wage, short-term and vulnerable, and have few if any benefits or protections. This certainly doesn’t mean that people who are poor lack determination and resolve. Some of the poor people I knew growing up or work with today possess off-the-charts determination to survive, put food on the table, care for their kids. But they wouldn’t necessarily score high on the grit scale.
This is a very thoughtful article. I hope you will read it in full.