We go through life thinking along certain lines with certain standards and ideals and then, after we judge everyone else in all the other countries on the face of the planet as lesser, we die just like they do. Why not go through life with the mindset that everyone else is better and strive to achieve each others strengths, gain each others happiness, and earn each others respect. We are not created equal, we are not given the same opportunities; but who are we to say that any one person is better than any other. Equality isn’t impossible because we are better or worse than each other; it’s because we think we are.
There are mission trips, outreach programs, and charities devoted to helping the less fortunate but what is a fortune? I am an upper class US citizen with a car and no needs. I have trouble coming up with things to ask for on holidays and for birthdays. I am spoiled rotten and I am still unhappy. As I write this I am feeling depressed, lonely, and I want a hug. In the eyes of the society that virtually everyone I have ever met subscribes to I am a winner but I would give anything to be able to be thankful for the little things. Maybe if I started off a loser and worked to get what I have, what gifts I have been given, then I could appreciate them. It’s easy to be a success when you are born one but to become a success story you have to overcome something. Something in your life has to be wrong. My problems are stupid, but they are mine and maybe, just maybe, if I could overcome them then I could become a success story. Isn’t that what we all want?
Then what is success? If everything that I know I hate because it’s mine and it’s not what I want then it’s growth is meaningless. How can I become a success if I don’t even know what success really is, what it means to become one. To have something that is indescribable because it is too perfect is an idea too romantic and too rich for my blood which means that there has to be a way to determine what success is based on a system of universally accepted values. What an idea, universal values, because there are places where the things I value don’t matter. In fact, there are places where some of the things that my society values don’t exist.
My house, my car, my money, my place of education, my number of twitter followers; none of that matters. At least not really, not in the sense of universal values. In Papua New Guinea there are tribes of people that right now, in the twenty first century, have no “modern” technology. They don’t have mansions, or houses really, but they are happy. There is no way for me to logically support calling any of them rich or successful by my society’s standards but they live life, breathe air, and smile. They smile. That blows my mind, what do they have to smile about? I have broken cell phones that cost more than anything any of them have ever owned. I have lost more than they could even understand exists but they still smile. They still wake up in the morning with a purpose that they go out into their world and accomplish and then, well, they go to sleep satisfied. They are satisfied that they are living life to it’s fullest, doing what needs to be done and achieving success.
Success; a word with a count of definitions comparable to “love” or “okay”. Let’s come up with our own in tandem with our agreed upon ideals. So what really matters?