Societal definitions of success are not those written in dictionaries, but rather those defined by who we idolise. I say this because I believe it is a root cause of many of the obvious social problems we face today. Depending on the socially constructed prototype of who we deem successful, we begin to revere those that embody what we believe is success.
A quick scan of today’s scene and we see a common theme pop-up. There are a large number of us that can forget about most of the other aspects that make up an individual, if they have a powerful status or possess riches. It is understandable that as people, we desire these things for ourselves, so we value them and view them as desirable.
1. Social Conscience
Seeing these things as the goal of success or as defining success, is where the problem lies. People in these positions will bow to the wave of public opinion and the values we as a public are looking for these people to possess. Hence, if we accept that our favourite products can be made at the hands of child labourers as long as the price is right, then companies will do just that.
If as a society these actions are denounced, we not only regain our conscience but also influence processes through our ideals. Companies will no longer look to take shortcuts to provide the price that is most profitable, instead they will consider the backlash of their clientele.
2. Nurture ongoing success
Wealth, fame and power should not be defining of success. These are instead mere tools to build an environment that can nurture ongoing success. It is also troubling that success is defined in such an absolute, arbitrary manner. Success is not an attainable target, but rather the ongoing achievement of set targets. Indeed success is not achievable, if it was we would be perfect creatures but we are fallible as human beings.
3. Make virtue the goal
The type of success I ask to be at the forefront of our minds, is that which reminds us of being virtuous to one another. A success that spreads the positive aspect of humanity from one heart to the next. Indeed a success that leads to the improvement of people’s circumstances, not just their egos or desires.
Let us redefine success, in order to redefine what we view as important. Thereafter, we may be able to deal with the symptoms that are a consequence of this collective mentality.