There is a start to everything,
An early shoot that pushes through the soil
And flowers ephemerally,
In the hope that it will bloom
Into something worthy of its time.
I just watched the College Scandal documentary on Netflix and if you are looking for an hour or two to lose yourself in something, this comes highly rated. In case you don’t know what it’s about, it cover the case of Rick Singer who got the kids of wealthy clients into the best colleges by making them out to be talented athletes.
Now, I found the whole thing fascinating, but there was one thing that really popped out for me and that was when they started to talk about the reasons why they wanted to get into these schools.
I guess, over here in the UK we have Oxford and Cambridge, but I get the impression that over in the US it is the prestige of these top schools that pulls people in rather than the results. And one of the people being interviewed touched on this subject, and also where the word prestige actually comes from.
I find etymology really interesting and I just thought that a word like prestige must come from a really positive source. I assumed that it must be Latin for ‘the poshest place in town’, but that’s not it at all.
It turns out that prestige comes from a Latin word, praestigium, which means illusion or delusion and was literally used to describe magicians or jugglers, back in the day. So effectively, we are all looking for prestige and really that means we are all looking to create an illusion and to trick people.
I don’t know what that says about humans but next time somebody tells me that what they are selling is prestigious, I might think twice about actually wanting it.