but even with greed and ambition some will never rise.
Today even more than in the past, because there are less paths from the bottom to the top, and less acceptance of giving anyone without specific resources a chance.
In industry, in the past you could hire on as a janitor and with work, effort, including work improving yourself outside of your job itself, move up. Retired now, but when I started my current job, the HR head literally started as a janitor there out of high school.
Now industy less and less will move anyone from blue collar to white collar based on work experience. You can't be managment most places now without that piece of paper. Many now don't even hire helpers and train for skilled labor jobs (welders, electricans are ony two examples). You have to have a community college associate degree to get an interview or employment appititude test for such work. When I applied for my current job back in 97, they used the unemployment office as a screening facility. There was an employment ad without identifying the employer.
I had to go to an interview at the unemployment office, proof of a two year degree, 10 years or more experience in one of 3 field, and if they passed then I was told who the employer was, where and when the testing would start, and a pass to get into the testing. We had a several page paper test, then the survivors of that were given hands on testing.
I remember when I was in night classes a younger guy asking how could he get a job when they all seem to require 2 years experience minimum in the field plus the 2 year degree he was working toward. The teacher told him after getting his degree, he'd probably have to get a job for a few years somewhere like a Purdue chicken processing plant. That was just the most desperate nearby. They had a huge turnover because of rather unpleasant working conditions, low pay, poor benefits, even for "skilled labor". But they provided a training ground for other jobs basically.
Indeed, I'm sad to say that over my working life, I've seen making friends with the right people without being a hard worker doing as much good as doing good work. Who you hunt, fish, or play golf with can matter more than how good you do your job.
Back to the subject, even if someone wants to move up, just working harder often won't do it anymore. Just being ambitious won't either. I'll grant you find greed at all social-economic levels and groups.
What's that old saying though? to whom much is given much is expected? probably just some envious guy came up with it trying to justify his envy I suspose. We hear more often watch out for number 1 because no one else will.
As far as pithy sayings.......
The hand patting you on the back is concealing a knife.
Lord help me not step on feet today that are connected to the as s I'll have to kiss tomorrow.
When in trouble, delegate responsibility.
That's without getting into any sayings that were on my old (lost) Murphey's Law wall poster. Of course, there have been several different variations of those.
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