It Matters Not What Someone is Born, but What They Grow to Be

Nobody has control over who he is born, but he definitely has power over who he dies. Thus, it is unimportant if one has a poor and weak background or a life full of opportunities and support; the only thing that matters is what legacy he leaves...

CSS Special 2023 Solved Essays | It Matters Not What Someone is Born, but What They Grow to Be

Minahil Mohsin, a Sir Syed Kazim Ali student, has attempted the CSS Special 2023 essay “It Matters Not What Someone is Born, but What They Grow to Be” on the given pattern, which Sir Syed Kazim Ali teaches his students. Sir Syed Kazim Ali has been Pakistan’s top English writing and CSS, PMS essay and precis coach with the highest success rate of his students. The essay is uploaded to help other competitive aspirants learn and practice essay writing techniques and patterns to qualify for the essay paper.

1- Introduction

  • Nobody has control over who he is born, but he definitely has power over who he dies. Thus, it is unimportant if one has a poor and weak background or a life full of opportunities and support; the only thing that matters is what legacy he leaves and what personal choices he makes for individual or societal betterment.

2- Understanding the Dialogue from JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”

3- Why What One Is Born is Not Really Important

  • Varying Circumstances
    • Being Born Poor vs. Being Born Rich
      • Evidence: The Study of Nelson Mandela and Warren Buffett
  • Varying Opportunities
    • Belonging to a Simple Family vs. Belonging to an Influential Family
      • Evidence: The Study of Mother Teresa and Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Varying Backgrounds
    • Belonging to a Humble Background vs. Belonging to a Financially Strong Background
      • Evidence: The Study of Mahatma Gandhi and Bill Gates
  • Varying Support
    • Not Having a Supportive Group of People vs. Having a Strong Support System
      • Evidence: The Study of Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him and Malala Yousafzai

4- Why What One Grows to Be is Important

  • Leaving a Legacy
    • Leaving a Lasting Impression on Generations to Come
      • Evidence: The Efforts of Martin Luther King Jr. Having Paved the Way for the Black to Get Their Rights
  • Making a Personal Choice
    • Giving Something to the World to Change the Trajectory of Fate
      • Evidence: “O My Uncle! By God, If They Put the Sun In My Right Hand And The Moon In My Left On The Condition That I Abandon This Course, Until God Has Made Me Victorious, Or I Perish Therein, I Would Not Abandon It.” – Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him
  • Using Freedom
    • Using One’s Inalienable Rights to Set Precedents for Others and Bring Human Rights Awareness
      • Evidence: The Case Study of Rosa Parks, a Black Woman, Refusing to Give up Her Bus Seat for White People
  • Gaining Power
    • People Rising to Power Via Their Creativity and Hard Work to Bring a Positive Change in Their Lives and Society
      • Evidence: The Case Study of Jay-Z, One of the Top Hip-Hop Artists and a Billionaire Hailing from a Poor Background, Working for Poverty Alleviation
  • Undergoing Personal Growth
    • Criminals Turning Over a New Leaf and Working for a Better Cause
      • Evidence: The Case Study of Frank William Abagnale, a Con Man Turned Fraud Consultant
  • Being Resilient
    • Choosing to Stay Resilient and Work with Un-Flinching Devotion to Change One’s Circumstances
      • Evidence: JK Rowling and Her Journey from Facing Rejections to Becoming a World-Famous Author

5- How Could One Grow to Become a Positive Version of Oneself?

  • By Accepting Oneself for Who One is
  • By Being Willing to Change for the Better
  • By Developing a Positive Mindset
  • By Getting Educated
  • By Finding a Motivation, Choosing a Goal, And Sticking to Them
  • By Making a Strong Liaison of Like-Minded People
  • By Adopting Good Habits
  • By Becoming a Role Model If Unable to Find One

6- The Nature Versus Nurture Debate – A Critical Analysis

7- Conclusion

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Nobody has control over who he is born, but he definitely has power over who he dies. Thus, whether one has a poor and weak background or a life full of opportunities and support is unimportant. This is the very idea of JK Rowling’s dialogue from one of her Harry Potter novels. To illustrate, it does not matter if someone is born poor like Nelson Mandela or hails from a financially strong background like Bill Gates; it makes no difference if he has had a support system or had to fight all alone because the circumstances he was born in were never in his hands. However, leaving a lasting impression and undergoing personal growth to become the best version of oneself for oneself and one’s society is what man always has control over. This could be made possible by first accepting the reality and then developing a learning attitude, resilience, and good habits. Moreover, analyzing the topic critically, one can deduce that the nature versus nurture debate does hold centre stage here, but the latter tends to be more acceptable. In a nutshell, a solid familial background undoubtedly gives one a head start to success, but hard work and effort are what it takes to reach the pinnacle. This essay focuses on why it is not essential who someone is born as but who he becomes and grows up to be, and it also pens down ways of self-improvement for people.

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

Nelson Mandela, the First South African President

Taken from the famous novel “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by JK Rowling, this quote is a dialogue of Professor Dumbledore. There is a deep meaning associated with it, one that, if understood, could make it quite easy to decipher the challenges in life and counter them as well. To elaborate, the quote means that a person is more than his mere luck, family background, and opportunities; he is what he strives for and what he really wants. Thus, even if one is born in difficult circumstances, he has full power and authority to change his conditions for the better and leave a mark on the world to be remembered as a success story.

“It always seems impossible until it is done.”

Nelson Mandela, the First South African President

Studying a few case studies of famous personalities across time and space, one finds out that people hailing from absolutely opposite backgrounds have made significant achievements. Undoubtedly, they have faced varying financial circumstances, but their unwavering resolution to do something great has made them a great name. For instance, Nelson Mandela, the famous South African President known for ending the apartheid regime peacefully, and Warren Buffett, a legendary investor and business magnate, were born poor and rich, respectively. Yet the former managed to win a Nobel Prize, and the latter has pledged his hundred-billion-dollar fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation upon his death. The comparison shows how being rich or poor might slow down or pace up the speed of achieving success, but it does not determine the end point of achievements.

Furthermore, people often have varying degrees of opportunities, so it would be unjust to compare the level of influence they have by birth. Some might belong to a relatively simple family while others could be born to highly influential parents, the latter having more and faster chances of growing. For instance, Mother Teresa, an Albanian nun known for her work with the poor in India, did not have a strong background; nevertheless, she won several awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. On the other hand, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the only American president to be elected four times, was born to a businessman in New York. Both these cases show how belonging to contrasting backgrounds with varying levels of opportunity does not define whether one will be successful or not.

Men are not prisoners of fate but of their own minds.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Former U.S. President

Besides opportunities, it is a common perception that an individual depends on monetary aid to be able to excel in life, but even then, lack of money does not hamper success for many. History is witness to men from humble and financially strong backgrounds who have significantly contributed to humanity’s betterment. To elaborate, Mahatma Gandhi, known for his movements for civil rights and India’s independence, belonged to a quite simple family, his father being a chief minister. He also worked hard and practised law to support himself and his family. Conversely, Bill Gates, an American business magnate, philanthropist, and Microsoft co-founder, was born to a prominent lawyer in Seattle. He did not settle for what he already had and worked his way to becoming a billionaire. Hence, it does not matter how much money one has by birth but how much work he puts in to reach the zenith that determines success.

“First, they ignore you; then, they laugh at you; then, they fight you; then, you win.”

Mahatma Gandhi, a Proponent of India’s Freedom Movement

Moreover, people worldwide are born in different circumstances and hence find varying levels of support. Where some are fortunate enough to have the whole world standing up in their support, others find even their community against them. However, this does not define what they will end up as. For instance, the Holy Prophet PBUH did not find any support, except a few, when he started preaching the word of Allah, and he is still the most well-known and regarded personality globally. On the other hand, Malala Yousufzai, the girl who stood up for children’s education rights, got the whole world behind her back when she faced a life-threatening attack from the Taliban. So, it doesn’t matter what degree of support one gets; what matters is how one ends up with his struggle and hard work.

To elaborate on why the end means more than the beginning, one needs to understand its pros. First, as it is aptly said, “All is well that ends well,” a person who tries to change his circumstances leaves a lasting impression on generations to come. Nobody is concerned with whom he was born but with whom he died as. A shining example is that of Martin Luther King Jr., who paved the way for blacks across the world to get their rights. Hailing from an oppressed background himself, he made efforts for his community’s betterment and left a legacy for the world. So, it is important what one grows to be, not who he was born.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Martin Luther King Jr., a Prominent Civil Rights Movement Leader

Second, the end results in a person reaching more than the point he began at because it is in his hands to make a choice and change his life’s trajectory along with that of those attached to him. A strong example was seen in the life of the Holy Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him when he was being pressured to give up his cause of Islam. He said, “O my uncle! by God, if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left on the condition that I abandon this course until God has made me victorious, or I perish therein, I would not abandon it.” This strength of character and the choice the Holy Prophet PBUH made helped pave the way to spread Islam across the board. Thus, it is critical what personal choice a man makes and also what his choice results in, rather than where or how he started his journey.

Third, what a man ends up as holds more importance than who he begins as because, in the former case, he is able to use his freedom; in this way, he can use his inalienable rights to set precedents and bring human rights awareness to others and keep the cycle going. Here, the case study of Rosa Parks, a black woman and the mother of the civil rights movement, is significant. The black woman refused to give up her seat to white people standing in a segregated bus in Alabama in 1955. Her action sparked the civil rights movement in America, and to date, the fight for equal rights has been going on as her legacy. Thus, the ending point of a man’s struggle is more important than his starting point, for the former is defined by him using his freedom.

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

Rosa Parks, American Civil Rights Activist

Next, the destination is more important than the starting line because it determines what the future might hold for somebody. When people choose to polish their creativity and work hard, not letting their weak points get in the way of their success, they get enabled to bring a positive change in their lives as well as their society. To elaborate, Jay-Z, one of the top hip-hop artists, hails from a quite humble black background. Nevertheless, he never let the lack of opportunities and financial weakness keep him from becoming a success. Surprisingly, he has become a billionaire and now works for poverty alleviation. Thus, it is proven that what a man ends up as holds more significance than what he begins as.

Fifth, it is important what one grows to be because it takes a lot to turn over a new leaf and not let the adversities get the better of oneself. Personal growth and working towards a better self might be the hardest hurdles to jump. But one who makes a leap of faith and crosses this hurdle makes himself a success story. To exemplify, there is the case study of Frank Williams Abagnale, who was a notorious con man, being convicted of several frauds and having served years in prison in France and the U.S. Nonetheless, he changed for the better and now runs a Fraud Consultancy, using his expertise to help people stay safe from felons. Hence, by undergoing personal growth, one can grow to become a better version of oneself, proving the importance of the notion.

Finally, it is important what one becomes because he does so with faith and resilience. When he chooses to stay consistent and work with un-flinching devotion, man is able to work his way to betterment, acceptance, and acknowledgement. To elaborate, JK Rowling, the author of the famous Harry Potter series, started her writing journey at a time when she was faced with a divorce, her mother’s death, and rejection from twelve major publications. Yet she stood her ground, bouncing back stronger than ever and becoming a bestseller novelist. There would hardly be a kid who has not seen, or at least heard, of the Harry Potter series. So, it would not be wrong to claim that it is, indeed, critical what one ends up as and not what life throws at him.

“Anything is possible if you have got enough nerve.”

J.K. Rowling, Author

Now that the notion has been clarified, the question arises: how can a person become the best and most positive version of himself to make the end of his journey better than its beginning? The answer lies in a holistic approach to betterment. First, he must accept himself for who he is, along with accepting his circumstances. Only when he is at peace with his inner self and knows where he is lacking can he work towards his growth and development?

Once he knows where he stands and knows the gaps, a person must then be willing to change himself and his conditions for the better. He must have an accepting attitude towards constructive criticism and be open to adapting to newer circumstances; he should work towards building his skill set, and he must always have the courage to keep moving forward amid opposition.

Equally important is that the person on his way to betterment develops a positive mindset. On his journey, he would not always be presented with favourable conditions. Rather, adversity might also strike him, and he might as well feel broken and shattered at times. Even then, he must show resilience and adopt an attitude of “I can” to get out of hardships stronger than ever.

Fourth, education holds immense importance when it comes to making a journey for one’s betterment. Thus, by getting educated, a person begins his journey to self-awareness and self-improvement. Education makes him broad-minded, tolerant, and thoughtful, enabling him to make wiser decisions in his life and live a successful one.

Moreover, if one starts running without having a goal in mind, one’s efforts reap no fruit. Thus, man should ensure that he finds a motivation to keep going; he must have an endpoint, a destination, in his mind and stick to it, for it will empower him when he begins to lose hope in his journey to improvement.

“A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

Bruce Lee, Martial Artist

Another underrated factor is collaboration. If like-minded people come together with a common goal in mind, no power in the world is able to counter their efforts unless they break apart. Thus, man should focus on making a liaison with men like him rather than running alone, for doing the latter can easily make him tired. On the other hand, having a group of people fighting on the same side will prove helpful for his journey to betterment.

Similarly, developing good habits is also a stepping stone to becoming a better version of oneself. When a person is aware of his shortcomings and bad habits, and he has already accepted the fact, he can then begin unlearning his poor habits and start learning and adopting good ones. In this way, he could become a version of himself that is more likely to make a lasting impact on his society.

Last but not least, man is often unable to find a mentor or a guide to take him by the hand and show him the path to success. This must never stop him from achieving great heights. Rather, if he could not find a role model, he should become one and act as a guiding light for others.

“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”

Rosa Parks, American Civil Rights Activist

In a strong analysis of the notion, the nature versus nurture debate could be quoted. According to the debate proponents, man is defined by where and to whom he is born. If he is born into a criminal family, he is bound to be an outlaw and vice versa. On the other hand, the opponents opine that it is the way man is brought up and nurtured that defines his future and aspirations. Even if he is born into a criminal family, being brought up in a responsible and positive manner would ensure he grows up to be a responsible citizen. However, in any case, it is pertinent to say that the end matters, not the means, in defining a person’s success.

It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

J.K. Rowling, Author

To sum up the matter, history speaks volumes about people who have had it the hard way, yet they chose to stay persistent and found what they were striving for, the biggest example being our Holy Prophet PBUH. Similarly, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Rosa Parks are examples of individuals who were not born into influential or financially strong families, but they made their way to the zenith through resilience and hard work. On the other hand, history also bears witness to financially strong and influential people taking the world by storm; this list includes Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Thus, it does not matter whom one begins one’s journey; what matters is one’s legacy, personal choices, and personal growth, as these factors decide one’s fate. For that matter, a man could grow to become an improved version of himself by identifying his weaknesses, accepting them, unlearning the bad habits, and working his way to betterment. And even though the nature versus nurture debate gives some weightage to the importance of nature in defining a man’s destiny, it is the nurturing part that acts as the deal-breaker in practical life.

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1.It Matters Not What Someone is Born, but What They Grow to Be
2.Developing countries must be able to reap the benefits of international trade.
3.Artificial intelligence has overstepped its bounds.
4.No legacy is so rich as honesty.
5.Social media has destroyed real life communication.
6.Globalization: The end of austerity.
7.Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.
8.Pakistani women have the same chances as men.
9.Unipolar, bipolar or multipolar: New direction of the world.
10.So, surely, with hardship comes ease.

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