I live in America. The land of opportunity and home to the fearless.
Or is it the land of the greedy and home to the narcissist? I think that is for all of us to decide ourselves.
Either way, this is a capitalist society where the ultimate goal, the “American Dream” as we call it, is financial prosperity. This society revolves completely around money. We look for any and every way to get it because we love it that much.
But consider this.
Prosperity corrupts good character. The love of money makes a humble person greedy, and the possession of money makes a trustworthy person untrustworthy. Opportunity turns to greed and freedom turns to slavery.
This is the cycle. The sad thing is so many get trapped in it and so little find their way out. Is there even a way out?
Well allow me to suggest something else.
The American Dream is wrong (or simply misinterpreted). The way we view prosperity is wrong. Money is not the end goal on the road to success.
No, I believe success to be something very different. Something you cannot hold in your hand or use to get ice cream on a summer afternoon.
The byproducts of success should not be your own satisfaction and prosperity, but the joy and love you show to others. Because if you are truly succeeding, you won’t be the only one impacted.
Do you want to lead a meaningful life? Do you wish to be successful? Well first, you must know how success is measured. It is not calculated by the amount of dollars you give away, or even the amount of hours you spend doing humanitarian work.
No, it is defined by the way you love.
Let me explain.
Love is not the feeling a player has toward his sport. If it were, he would expect no salary. People who say they love their cars do not really love their cars. Because if it stopped running one day, they would simply find other means of travel.
What is the one thing that doesn’t envy? Love.
What is the one thing that expects absolutely nothing in return? Love.
What is the one thing that will outlast every single one of us? Love.
When a family member gets sick, do you give up on them? Of course not! You join their fight and encourage them until the day their time is up.
That is love.
And what can fill the void that loved one left? Nothing really.
Because love is unique. It provides a satisfaction that nothing else can. Not money. Not fame. Not your legacy.
Imagine this. You have a bag of apples but only one is left. After this, you will never be able to eat anything ever again. You look up and see a man who is alone and obviously hungry, so you decide to approach this man and give him your apple to eat. That is love.
But what makes love different?
It’s simple. Love has an eternal award.
I will leave you with these words.
One day when you find yourself with one last breath, just a few seconds left, I guarantee your wish won’t be one last dollar to spend. It’ll be one last evening with your family and friends or one more apple to give to that man. Then your fear of death will fade away as you remember the words they used to say, “there is no fear in love, my death won’t be in vain.”