THIS I BELIEVE
“It is the simple things of life that make living worthwhile — sweet fundamental things
such as love and duty, work and rest, living close to nature.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder
In American culture everyone is now seemingly obligated to have a mission statement, as though we are the CEOs of our own private companies. In light of our fastidious way of life, maybe this does seem fitting. The problem, as I see it, is not the idea of a mission statement. The problem is the expectation of what that mission statement should include for one’s life. Such a strong emphasis is being placed in society on material possessions. Success is being defined as your stock-market value. I recall a Wallstreet Journal advertisement that portrayed a successful person as one who went public with his million-dollar business while an unsuccessful person lived with his parents — it was as simple as that. The same week I saw this advertisement on television, I read in the Wallstreet Journal an article detailing the life and suicide of a “successful” businessman. His acquaintances all reported that in his final days his only thoughts were at how lonely he was. Was he really successful?
I believe that a part of success is the ability to enjoy the journey through which one travels to meet the destination. It seems the achievement of each goal is the beginning of yet another challenge. I sometimes ask myself, “Am I a successful person?” Well, the jury is still out as the journey is not yet over. My parents have always taught me that in everything, though, to be successful means to give 100% of one’s self. While this has developed into my definition of success, I feel as though the absence of trying new endeavors is truly the greatest failure. Each new step along life’s path enables us to build passageways from our own perspective to that of others. Each new challenge imparts an opportunity for growth and an occasion for service – service to God, service to family, and service to our community. This I believe.
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