“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” Beverly Sills- American Operatic Singer
SEL Connection: Students talk about success all the time and in many forms. There’s getting into that college they wanted, making a sports team, getting a good grade in a class, or even being liked by others. Setting goals, achieving them and becoming successful has intuitive importance to students of all ages.
Especially true in the younger ages, students often parrot what their parents or friends think success means. Others rely on motivational speakers at assemblies who preach the value of living a better life by setting attainable goals. Still others chart their own. Success is elusive though, probably because setting goals and keeping them are hard work. Equally hard is having the patience to achieve goals without succumbing to the temptation to cut corners. And we know how easy it is for kids of all ages to become very impatient and go down the wrong road.
(1) Claim: Sills pushes against the idea that success is something you can get quickly but cutting corners. It’s a protracted process. Not many students treat life success as a long-term journey which takes patience and time to navigate. Her claim is that success can’t come from taking shortcuts. If it isn’t a long journey, it loses its value.
(2) Counterclaim: Perhaps it’s true that there are great rewards for enduring a long process which culminates in some sort of achievement. But it is also true that sometimes good things can come to you if you cut corners. Take getting a job promotion for example. Sometimes, rather than work your way up over a long period time, it’s useful to network and schmooze your way into a promotion, even if your qualifications don’t match those who have been there longer. Or to take a more dramatic example; let’s say you cheat your way into getting a good test score, which positions you to get that scholarship to the university you’ve dreamed about. Well, you got into the school and you are closer to success, yet you got there by following the shorter path.
(3) Essential Question: If you can cut corners to achieve success, should you?