What is Success? To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; This is to have succeeded.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
When someone claims he’s a “winner, that’s what I do, I win,” what does he mean by winning? What does it mean to “win” in this culture? Is it based on dollars, power, privilege, number of Facebook friends and daily tweets? Does it mean you have the right to demean, insult, belittle, dismiss, harm and hurt all the others you label as “losers?”
Someone once said “Some people are so poor all they have is money.”
Someone else once said “The meek shall inherit the earth.”
And Ralph Waldo Emerson, writing in the mid-19th century, voted for an American standard of success that never founds its way to Wall St.
Read each phrase slowly. Think of your own life. Think of the people you will soon vote for. Think of what you wish for your children. Let’s vote for a new standard of what it really means to win.
And then change our lives accordingly.