Over a cup of coffee in sunny LA and in between my busy daily life with hundreds of things already on my mind, I tend to ponder about socially constructed concepts. We can all agree for the most part that whether one lives in America, India or anywhere around the globe, the fact is that we all live in a materialistic society. One is constantly judged by the type of house one lives in, the car they drive, the brand names that they wear, the level of education one has earned and the type of career one is pursuing among many other variables. Can we simply define someone as ‘successful’ if one has attained materialistic wealth? has one ‘failed’ if materialistic wealth has not yet been attained? Have images on social media given us a new definition of success?
I am at crossroads when I observe how people view success and failure in society. I am in the belief that these are simply socially constructed terms that actually do not carry much weight in our individual lives. Success and failure are both subjective terms; they mean different things to different people. Aren’t we all a product of both success and failure, which is the positives and negatives. If we did not encounter and overcome the difficulties along the way in our journey of life, we would not be the person that we are today. Difficulties, which people may view as ‘failing’ along the way is actually a stepping stone toward a better you and future. Isn’t learning and becoming a better and a polished version of you a success? Doesn’t this polished version lead you to better and awarding opportunities, so why are difficulties viewed as a negative in our society? Why do we pity on people who are facing challenges, not realizing that those challenges are actually going to lead to better and bigger things once they have been overcome.
In my humble thought, I believe success to be the following. To me, one is a success when they have picked themselves up or are trying to pick themselves up from their darkest moments in life. These dark moments can be related to devastating life events such as facing poverty or mental, physical and, or emotional issues. When one is facing poverty or any other personal issues, are they a ‘failure’ at this stage? Absolutely not. But, since the world sees these people at their struggling stage, they view them as not successful. We need to change this vision of looking at the world. People have not ‘failed’ when they are struggling, rather they are on their way to success as long as they keep pushing themselves forward. As a society, we should not make people feel horrible for being in their struggling stage, rather be compassionate and encouraging. Words of encouragement can lead to many blessings.
Rather than looking down on someone who is living in poverty or with any other personal issues, let’s not define them as not successful, rather let’s encourage and motivate people to keep pushing and moving forward. Sometimes all that a person needs is someone who understands and simply listens to their current position in life and is willing to have faith in them to overcome their adversity and move towards a better and a fulfilling tomorrow. At the end of this life, everyone has the same grave, let’s make this journey a bit easier for those who are struggling along the way by our words of faith and encouragement. This encouragement can change someone’s world. Let’s not simply define people as ‘successful’ or not successful judging by their current material wealth. Material wealth is only a part of our exterior world, we must look into the interior soul of ourselves and others in order to be a true success by the end of our lifetime.