Putting Your Best Foot Forward -A Book Review
Putting Your Best Foot Forward -A review of the Jewish Phenomenon by Steven Silbiger
We thrive in life when we keep putting our best foot forward because life doesn’t give us want we want, but what we demand – Anonymous
This post sprang up from a conversation I engaged in on social media about a recruiter who mentioned that if he saw Covenant University on a Curriculum Vitae (CV), he was most likely going to grant that individual an interview. Below was the conversation.
I read a few contributions to the above conversation and realized that many people spoke about the bias this recruiter had. In fact, I shared this same conversation with people on my WhatsApp community and one of my contacts also amplified on the guys’ bias too. Majority of the opinions were that everyone; regardless of the institution they finished from; should be given an equal playground.
This made me understand again and appreciate the fact that our views about the world differs because we view from different lenses, and this affects how we judge situations and take decisions.
However, even if every one were given equal playground; some people have already understood what competitive advantage is and they have harnessed it.
On the premise of this conversation, I decided to review the book, The Jewish Phenomenon by Steven Silbiger I had read a long time ago. This book is such an amazing one because it explains the lifestyle of the Jews and revealed the secrets that makes them thrive in the world even in their minority. These ones have mastered the act of putting their best foot forward.
The statistics of the Jews.
The Jews are only a tiny minority in America making about six percent of American’s population and about one fifth of one percent of the total world population, yet their success is a fact in America and in the world. Below are a few facts that proves that:
- The percentage of Jewish households with income greater than $50,000 is double that of non Jews.
- Forty percent of the top 40 of the Forbes 400 richest Americans are Jewish.
- One-third of American multimillionaires are tallied as Jewish.
- Twenty percent of professors at leading universities are Jewish.
- Thirty percent of American Noble Prize winners in science and twenty five percent of all American Noble winners are Jewish.
The Jewish culture.
The Jews understand that they form a small fraction of the world’s population and so they carefully teach their children principles and values that helps them not just exist but thrive in the world.
How the Jews mastered the act of putting their best foot forward.
1. The Jews understand their heritage and culture, and they pass it on to their children.
They do not just teach their children about who they are in an abstract way. As a matter of fact, they use a global map to explain their heritage to their children and how they fit into it. When children understand their heritage, it helps immunize them from negative influences.
Know your root. Your personal power could be embedded in it. Cracking this super power may just be in the direction of your root. Look into it.
2. The Jews always choose the best education possible.
This is actually the juice in this post. First of all, Nigeria is one of the third world nations; and by default, her citizens are endangered species just at the brick of collapse; with little or no concern from the leadership.
To give yourself an advantage and be able to compete with people from other classes of the world, you need education and not just anyhow education, the best education possible. This is invariably putting your best foot forward; affording yourself the opportunity to be heard at a higher level; giving you a competitive advantage and giving you better chances at life.
That’s why the recruiter would want to give audience to someone who graduated from Covenant University because that’s like one of the best universities in Nigeria. That’s also the reason why many people would want to have dual citizenship, just to have better chances at life. If you can, invest in quality education for you and your offspring. They would thank you forever.
3. They always look out for their community.
One of the ways the Jews look out for their community is to deploy their wealth and time for charity and social actions. They also support themselves by patronizing Jewish businesses. There’s nothing like being in the middle. It’s either you are supporting a community or you’re not. Whatever community you have chosen to be a part of; throw yourself into it, and then put your money where your mouth and faith is. Be a part of your community actively.
4. The Jews are selectively extravagant but prudently frugal.
There is a common sentiment about Jewish spending habits “I do not like to throw my money away, but when something is important to me, I want the best.” You can tell now, one of the things the Jews spend their money on is education. There’s a thin line between want and need. So you need to carefully consider your wants and needs, and then prioritize your needs over your wants and build the ability to delay gratification.
5. They preserve their curiosity especially that of their children.
The Jews always encourage their children to ask questions. Asking questions helps you to able to query your data base and trigger critical thinking. They are encouraged to challenge widely held assumptions.
Have you been told that “this is how we do it”; “that is the way it’s being done around here” Don’t just accept it. Question it. Know why they chose to do it that way. Challenge the status quo. Shake things up; that is the way discoveries are made. And if you take care of little ones, do not beat the curiosity out of them.
This is quite a trend in this part of Africa where I reside. When some adults are being questioned, they take it as disrespect. They believe their authority is being challenged and all of those untrue things and so they want to stop the children either by beating or punishment. Maybe it’s their error but for you, as you read and learn, ask questions, don’t just take things hook, line, and sinker. Ask questions.
The sum of putting your best foot forward.
The Jewish lifestyle has been revealed the secret to their prosperity even though they are in the minority. Why this lifestyle stands through is because they are grounded on workable principles that encourages putting our best foot forward. These principles can be applied by anyone to get the same result because they are universal. If you have ever doubted your ability or you struggle to live a life of significance, then you should apply these principles and see how fruitful you will begin to live.
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