Social Justice Poetry

The Myth of the Self-Made Man | A Social Justice Poem by Guy Farmer

The myth of the
Self-made man:
He rises from poverty and,
By sheer will,
Determination, and
Hard work becomes
Wildly successful,
All on his own.
The truth behind
The myth: The man
Was born into a
Society that allows
For success and provides
The governmental framework,
Social conditions,
Public services, and
Physical infrastructure
That permit someone
Like him to
Enjoy great fortune.
Another often-overlooked
Detail: The staggeringly
Monumental chance that the
Man is born in the right
Place and right time
To prosper;
Countless equally
Hard-working people don’t
Get the same breaks,
Don’t arrive at
The ideal time;
It could just as
Easily been him
Struggling for a lifetime.


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