Freeman

ARTICLE

"I'm for the Achiever!"

MARCH 01, 1973 by MILLER UPTON

I have just about reached the end of my tolerance for the way our society now seems to have sympathetic concern only for the misfit, the pervert, the drug addict, the drifter, the chronic criminal, the under-achiever. It seems to me we have lost touch with reality and become warped in our attachments.

I feel it is time for someone like me to stand up and say, in short, "I’m for the upperdog!"

I’m for the achiever — the one who sets out to do something and does it; the one who recognizes the problems and opportunities at hand, and endeavors to deal with them; the one who is successful at his immediate task because he is not worrying about someone else’s failings; the one who doesn’t consider it "square" to be constantly looking for more to do, who isn’t always rationalizing why he shouldn’t be doing what he is doing; the one, in short, who carries the work of his part of the world squarely on his shoulders.

It is important to recognize that the quality of any society is directly related to the quality of the individuals who make it up. Therefore, let us stop referring naively to  creating a "great" society. It is enough at this stage of our development to aspire to create a decent society. And to do so, our first task is to help each individual be decent unto himself and in his relationship with other individuals.

We will never create a good society, much less a great one, until individual excellence and achievement are not only respected but encouraged. That is why I am for the upperdog —the achiever, the succeeder.

—Miller Upton, President of Beloit College. 

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March 1973

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