There’s all these people I know that are becoming successful individuals, and I am just sitting here like…I have a blog…which got me thinking about what success is. I know a lot of people consider success how much money they have, and there are far more people who feel like success is something that is not measurable in dollars, in spite of the fact that they only feel successful because they have a lot of money. I think the vast majority of this is due to the idea that capitalism lends itself to promoting those who have increased their net worth.
For example, I have some friends that are growing in popularity; a couple are going into acting/modeling. These, unsurprisingly, are not very close friends. But they are good people that I share the occasional conversation with. I do not think they are particularly intelligent in all areas, or a cut above everyone else, but they have been active in self promotion and what not. Which is good for them. They are doing what fulfills them.
There are two major areas that I have noticed in modern America that a person can go into in order to be “successful”—science or business and pop culture. Science, of course, get the money. Even if a doctor does not have the fame of, say, Taylor Swift, they still have made it in the bank. The same is true for a business person. And then there’s pop culture, which is essential the rough, dominant male, extremely attractive and sensitive male, physically and mental fit woman, and finally the hyper thin, exceedingly attractive woman. Those are the archetypes of pop culture (and yes, there are numerous exceptions, but they are just that—an exception outside the norm).
So how do we define success in America, if we pull from these categories? Either a person is monetarily successful, or a person is famous. Both of these often overlap. Is this how we should truly define success? Many successful people are assholes. They have no respect for the average person, they will not take the time to share a drink with a random human being, they rarely make donations to charity in more ways than their name on a check—which, by the way, is never going to be a significant enough amount to impact how they live their lifestyle, even if that money means the world to hundreds of people. Some of them even hire PR (Public Relations) assistants so that they do not have to manage any of this stuff themselves. They do not want to be a part of our world, but they want us to think we matter just as much as they do, so that we keep buying their products.
Not everyone is like this, but a vast majority of people are. It is not someone being driven crazy by power and money, they simply are able to do this kind of thing because they have power and money. Money is not the cause, but it is an enabler.
Think about the last time you took a walk with your family. Or helped an older person across the street. Or saw a child lost and helped to find their parents. Or gave a homeless person a water bottle. These are all things that everyone can do, though not everyone does. And they may not be as fancy as creating a homeless shelter out of a portion of the money made from a movie, but they often are more personal and meaningful. The world needs less pop icons, lawyers, doctors, and Wall Street businessmen, and more people willing to care about each other in a community. Don’t worry if you aren’t the biggest thing to come out of your hometown. Bring the best of the world to your hometown.