Thursday, January 17, 2013
society worships success
What is success? According to this culture's definition it would go something like this: prestigious, well-paid, white collar job, suburban nice house, flashy car, happy marriage, well behaved children, many friends, and big happy extended family. I'm sure there's more than that, but you get the gist. What about those through bad decisions, misfortune, or just plain inability can't fit this mold? The first question most people ask when they meet you, at least in America, is what do you do for a living. The thing about a society that says you can do anything you set your mind to is if you're not able to pull it off then you're a personal failure. In other words it's your fault alone. I'm not quite sure that's fair or even accurate. My idea of success is not needing a job or car. This runs way counter to the norm. We're all told that the only way to get around is a personal automobile, and the only way to make money is from a job. What a crock! I don't like that I was born into a culture where we're pretty much forced to use a car. I do my best not to drive, but it's hard to be totally car-free. And boy do we judge people on what they do for money. Their socioeconomic position so to speak. I don't look down on homeless people. They might not in fact be lazy. Maybe they just have a hard time fitting in with the world. I like what the Bible has to say about it. God doesn't seem to be concerned with our material accomplishments. He cares about our heart, and the book of Jeremiah says the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Not very flattering is it, but it's the truth. I see it in myself. And in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus the successful rich man went to hades while the beggar Lazarus went to Abraham's bosom. Very telling that God's system is different and much above ours. I struggle with trying to fit in with this world's definition of success. I'm not sure I ever will. I want to live on dividends, ride public transportation, and have low expenses. I guess that's how I define it, but ultimately anything we accumulate and accomplish will be left at death. I don't mean to be a downer. I just think this culture is kind of messed up in a way that most people don't acknowledge.