There are ten steps that can be used to construct your success in a Third World country. The principles I will outline here, from my own experience living and growing up in Jamaica, are the foundation and the pillars which can be applied by citizens in other Third World countries and even First World countries as well. In this blog, I will explore one of the principles each week starting with what we need to do first and moving on to when we have made it, and what to do then. This week, we will start at the beginning.
What is a third world country?
A “Third World” country is defined by investopia.com as a developing nation. The terms Third World country and developing nation have become increasingly interchangeable in recent decades. According to the website, Third World countries are largely characterized as poor and underdeveloped. In these countries, low levels of education, poor infrastructure, improper sanitation and poor access to health care, mean living conditions are seen as inferior to those in the world’s more developed nations. As with countries classified as First World, Third World nations are a study of contrasts. The appearance of wealth is present in some areas and regions while the community right next door seem impoverished, as if they have nothing.
The United Nations no longer judges a country by its stage of development but some countries are ranked higher in terms of the comforts and opportunities afforded to the citizens; this is called the Human Development Index. Back in the day, a country would be judged by its level of industrialization, and in that regard, the first developed country was the UK. They were followed by Belgium, then Germany, then the USA and then by France and other Western European nations.
Although a country may be classified as developed or First World, there are some who still struggle to fit into the First World lifestyle. That is, there are those within both First World or Third World that either strive or struggle despite what is happening around them. Some analysts refer to this as being “Fourth World”. Fourth world you may ask? By this we are referring to a country of great wealth where some parts of society live on the fringes: jobless, often drug-addicted, with no healthcare and very few opportunities to change their circumstances. They are living in a First World country with Third World standards. For example, the United States, which is listed as a First World country, has the second highest rate of poverty among rich (First World) nations. Poverty in this case is measured by the percentage of people earning less than half the national average income. The opposite is also a reality, where you have persons living in a Third World country with a First World standard of living.
STEP #1 – Education/Training/Skill/Talent
This may seem obvious, but how many persons really know the importance of this fundamental pillar? Do they really put emphasis on making sure that they themselves and those around them that they are responsible for really pay attention to this obvious first step to make it in the Third World?
Which side of the fence? – Whichever side of town you were born you will need education if you are going to preserve your inheritance or if you are going to build one. Yes, education has for many, helped to pave a way out of poverty. We’ve all heard the phrase “education is the key to success”. For many growing up in Jamaica this message is instilled in us from birth. To be honest, while education is not a fool-proof way of climbing the ladder of success, the evidence has proven that those with a higher education do earn more money and have a better quality of life.
The very essence of personal and social development is education and knowledge. A glance at the development of humanity over time shows the crucial importance of knowledge and education for social, political and economic development in different societies. Where individuals are concerned, education is the very foundation on which they can improve their own lives, their families’ lives and the lives of future generations.
But Ricky I am talented and naturally gifted – Now, some are born with talents and natural gifts while others develop skills with time and experience. But as the bestselling book called the Bible says, a fool and his money are soon parted. As of 2018 when I am writing this, we have both men and women of great talent here in Jamaica who have made significant contributions around the world. But when we drill down to see where the opportunities started to blossom we still go right back to education and the educational facilities and infrastructure. Take for example the great Usain Bolt: currently the fastest man in the world by record and with many accolades and Olympic and World titles. Does he have a gift? – Yes. Is he talented? – Yes. But where did it all start? Where were his talents nurtured and groomed? – You guessed it, in school. If we look at many of the athletes and musicians and other persons of talent in Jamaica, we can see that education, and the educational ‘system’ played a big role in where they are now, with secondary education being almost standard and very many having passed through the tertiary educational system.
So how does it start? – How do you go about getting an education?
- It starts with parents/guardians valuing education and providing educational materials and opportunities for their children.
- A good basic/ pre-school is important but good parenting/guidance is most important.
- After Basic school we have Primary/Prep-school. Choose wisely as this step can have a great impact on the quality of education the child receives in his/her formative years. Which can determine where they get to study after Primary/Prep School
- This is followed by a good high school. Sometimes just being afforded the opportunity to study at a traditionally prominent high school here in Jamaica can open up many doors for you.
- Finally on this list, but by no means the end of your educational journey, tertiary education. N.B. Before pursuing a tertiary education, look around and see what is needed in the society. It’s all good and well to follow your passions, but first you have to put food on the table. A steady job and income are what we are aiming for at this point. But I want you to keep your passions alive, never let the flame die. Work on it on the side if you have to. Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Perhaps the third is the day you are able to live your passion.
I can’t afford this! – But Rick how do I pay for all this?
- Luckily, we have a PATH (Program of Advancement Through Health and Education) here in Jamaica where you may obtain government assistance if you are finding it difficult to go to school or fund your education. Many other Third World countries have similar programs.
- We have many private and public sponsors.
- There are also many local and overseas, private and non-private scholarships that can be afforded us if we simply seek out and apply for them.
- Simply asking for assistance.
- Become a young entrepreneur: see a need in your school and sell that product or service. Weekend jobs are also an option. There are also countless jobs and opportunities online.
- Tertiary education is subsidized in Jamaica by the government and is far less expensive than it is in America and many other first world countries
Is that it? – There are many other examples, and I could expound more on the points above; perhaps if I decide to write a book I will. Despite the economic climate and social conditions, which are largely based on a generational culture or poor choices, it is possible to carve your way out of most situations by applying the principles of success. It is the belief of many that First World countries do not experience poverty, but this could not be further from the truth. In fact, The United States has many homeless citizens who are earning less than average annual incomes. Therefore, living in a First World country is not a guarantee that you will succeed and living in a Third World country is not a guarantee that you will fail.
Many individuals are conflicted between finding the right career path while doing what they love. Others are talented, skilled and gifted and using these skills are a way to propel them forward. However, it is also wise to seek to gain financial stability through a more measured approach. Education is the first step in this measured approach. Having a good educational foundation will help in finding (or creating) a job which will improve your quality of life.
Stay tuned next week as I will publish step two of the ten steps on how to make it in the third world.
Our actions now will determine future results.