General George S. Patton once said, “I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” Too often in our society, we are impressed and mesmerized by the glamorous and wealthy. We consider them successful, and therefore worthy of our praise simply because of the material fame and possessions they have. But are these people the ones we truly want to consider as role models and examples of success? Are these the people we want our youth looking up to? More often than not, the wealthy and famous achieved that status by focusing and worrying about themselves. They worked their way to the top trampling others around them without taking a second glance. Once on top, these men and women would use the influence they gained to keep the spotlight on themselves; on their scandals, controversies, and mischief. It is more common to hear of a “successful” person who was arrested or convicted of a crime than to hear of someone “successful” who donated their time and influence to others. Many times these “successful” people fall from atop our society to the very bottom. They go from being on top of the world, able to purchase or acquire anything they wanted, to having nothing. This bottom level, this level of nothingness is where the true success of a human being is measured.
When man hits rock bottom he is faced with two options: accept the tough cards he has been dealt, or work through the obstacles in front of him to get back on his feet. The times when man chooses to climb over the seemingly insurmountable obstacles placed before him are the times that truly measure mans success. This success is not measured through the tangible, such as the amount of money or material possessions one has but, rather, the intangible. This intangible consists of certain traits such as character and moral fiber. Success is the inner strength one has to continue and work even when it seems as if all is lost or in vain. Success is the overcoming of grief or tragedy, not the accumulating of money and status. Success is reaching down and weaving your inner moral fiber into a tight rope, grasping that rope, and pulling yourself up from the bottom and back on your feet again. This I believe.
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