Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What is Success?

I just read this article and it got me thinking, yet again. Having worked in a psychological hospital as an intern last year, I often thought about what our world would look like if we made room in it for those that didn't quite fit. What would our world look like if we were more concerned with caring for others than in securing some kind of success for ourselves. It certainly wouldn't look like the world we live in now. I've played sports all my life and there's this huge divide between those that play for fun (everybody bats, everybody plays, etc) and those that play to win (whatever it takes, if you're not good enough you sit, etc). Most of my life I've been on the latter side. I'm competitive. I want to win, I NEED to win. Or at least that's the way I feel. But when you're confronted with other people, as human beings, and reminded of the fact that winning means someone loses... it's a different story.

If winning and success were all that mattered, there'd be no room for people that weren't deemed "good enough." But as Christians, we're supposed to believe that everyone has intrinsic worth, that everyone is a Child of God and loved by God. But, do we really treat everyone that way? I mean, if we did, we'd probably come up short, we'd fail to be as successful as we possibly could be, right?

Reading that article by Mitch Albom from the Detroit Free Press reminded me that, whatever the cost, we need to make room in our lives for people who wouldn't normally fit. We need to enlarge our circle of friends and family - which may mean that we lose some of that "me" time or we become a little less "successful" in some people's eyes. But I truly believe that in doing so, we can actually be much more successful than we ever dreamed - in the eyes of the only One who really matters...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

To me, success means:
1. Proper spelling (there are two c's in 'success'), and
2. Realizing life is NOT a zero-sum gain. For someone to 'win', someone else does NOT have to 'lose'.

With every good wish,
A. Alexander

Don said...

Good points - I can't believe I didn't catch that in the editing process...

The title misspelled... aggrrhh!

jlee said...

I am already seeing how I feel limited in my circles of friends now that I am serving in full-time church ministry. I had some initial connections with different individuals in town but that has lessened as I have become more and more busy with "running" the small group ministry (and teaching, and preaching, and visiting, and answering phone calls, and staff meetings, and...)

I guess that I am learning once again that I have to intentionally set aside time to make anything to happen...

Don said...

Archibald - how many people actually realize life is not zero-sum? How many people actually LIVE life like that? Maybe it's just seeing sports and looking at things through that prism, but I haven't found a lot of people who actually live life that way. I wish that wasn't the case.