Man has long pondered the definition of success. What does it mean? Can an understanding of success only exist in a concrete sense of the word? Our current society overwhelmingly defines success by monetary standards. On the one hand, we judge a man by his wealth or his annual income, but on the other hand, we are quick to scream our praise for the greatest philanthropist in our history, Jesus Christ. Based on what we know about Jesus, it is safe to assume that he was not a wealthy man nor did he say that accumulating wealth and material items should be a goal in our existence. We are instructed to live our lives by the example Jesus set, so why is wealth such an important aspect of our existence.
For much of my life, I thought the definition of success was to acquire prestigious employment and accumulate vast fortune. I have since learned otherwise. Society’s standards cannot define success; each individual based on his or her own code of ethics must define it. I have reached a point in my life in which I understand that if I can gaze into a mirror at night and know that I helped one person during that day, I am successful. I will never be wealthy nor will I ever be famous, but I will be successful. I will be successful because I measure the meaning of the term by humanitarian standards, not by monetary ones.
Our world has become consumed by a “dog eat dog” mentality. If we could stand upon the highest mountaintop in the world and see the whole world at once, what would we realize? We would realize that we are hypocritical in our efforts to uphold our claims to Christianity. Depositing vast amounts of money into my own bank account does little to paint myself as a follower of Jesus Christ. By societal standards, I may be considered successful if my income exceeds the six-figure mark, but by philanthropic standards, not so much. We are a greedy society. Our efforts to accumulate wealth and material possessions outweigh our desire to help others. It is the way of our world.
You may be thinking that only a poor person would write such rubbish. Perhaps, but I implore you to ask yourself what you think success is. Be honest. I do not think the answer exists in a simple black and white form. There is much gray. I was fortunate to love a man with all my heart and to have that love reciprocated. We were not wealthy in a monetary sense, but we were successful beyond imagination because our love knew no limits. We helped each other to reach for our dreams and that makes us successful. We were wealthy in love. We were successful!
©2012 Relinda R.