“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
” -Francis Bacon By definition, opportunity means a good position, chance, or prospect, as for advancement or success. Yet, sometimes it is apparent that not everyone is presented with this so called “opportunity”. Is it purely being in the right place at the right time, or is it some kind of divine intervention? Whenever I drove through South Phoenix I would rapidly lock my doors and not feel sympathetic for the beggars roaming the streets with no source of transportation. I believed they deserved to be there. Then I began to ponder that question. I started to really look at them.
Maybe they really did deserve to be there, but then the thought crept into my mind that they were never really given the chance. Perhaps some of them are trying to get out, or even all of them. Is it luck when someone is rich and famous, or did they work hard to get in that position? To some this word, opportunity, is made up, and to others they owe it all their success. Some even owe this little word their life. The origin of opportunity derives from the Latin root words oppotunitatem, opportunitas, and opportunusan. All meaning suitableness or a favorable time.
Overtime the views of this have drastically been altered. Although the denotation of this word seems primarily positive, the connotative definition of the word solely relies on to whom you are speaking. Some would say this is a make believe word, made up by the bums dwelling on the fringes of society, saying where you get in life relies purely on fate and has nothing to do with work ethic. While others would argue that they deserve to be where they are in life due to hard work, sweat, and perseverance. Usually, when an opportunity occurs in someone’s life, they pass it up unless it is right in front of them.
Once you pass up opportunity, it will most likely never come around again. Sometimes people use it as an excuse. Thomas Edison once said “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed up in overalls and looks like work.” Sadly, this is often spot on. People don’t want to help themselves, or want other people to do it for them.
They certainly will not go looking for it on their own. However, in some cases opportunity never presented itself. There was nowhere to go looking for it. People were just always in the wrong place and the wrong time, yet they still want to better their lives. For instance, when I was seven my parents got divorced and neither of them had any money to their names.
My mom worked two jobs all night and during the day while going to college because she wanted to better her life not just for herself, but for us as well. While my father was fine the way he was and didn’t do anything about it. Both of my parents could have bettered their situations, but only my mother jumped at the opportunity presented to work hard and get out of the predicament. I always wonder what if she couldn’t find a job. Would we still be living in a small house in a bad area or would we have still ended up where we are now? Certainly, this chance is not just presented to everyone, but there are a lucky handful of these elite few. People at the top of the food chain often have relatives or know people to get them where they need to be and misuse contacts to get ahead.
No doubt though that some people earned their spot in this world. They took advantage of the introduced opportunity and ran. They understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn around both to their advantage. Most successful men and women though, have not achieved their distinction by having opportunity handed to them. Sometimes people get to where they are all by themselves, and owe their success to no one else. Many business owners put in 14 hours of grueling work a day, some even sleep at their offices, sacrificing family life, and take no days off.
While people of the middle class are either always striving to be higher or are content with their place in this world. Sometimes the lower class didn’t make their own fate. For example, back in the 60’s during segregation, African American’s were put into the slums and most weren’t presented with a chance to get out. Now, even though they have the same rights, they have to work twice as hard to get out. They didn’t end up their because of themselves. Whether you call it a situation or conditional favorable for attainment of a goal, an appropriate, or advantageous combination of circumstances, or a chance or prospect, it will always have the same meaning and the core aspects will never change.
However, opportunity will never bring unhappy images in my eyes. Although some may view this word as negative, the definition does not back it up. To me this word is a positive word. It is optimistic, and has a sense of mystery to it. In the hands of opportunity are everyone’s future.
This one tiny word may determine someone’s fate forever, and if it’s passed up, their entire existence may be altered. Opportunities are everywhere. They will only show themselves if they are looking for them. People need to be ready at all times. Sometimes the risk is never taken because people are always asking “what if?” Yes, it is sometimes like a roll of the dice, but you’ll never know if you don’t try.
Some may say its luck, but luck is where preparation and opportunity meet. Opportunity is real, not luck and every chance leads to another. People make their own luck in this world, yet opportunities are around every corner. Find opportunity in every difficulty, and make more than you can find. If you are afraid of missing it you always will.