Linda May Kallestein - Author & Screenwriter - Official Site

  • Linda May Kallestein

To Succeed or Not Succeed

Updated: Nov 8, 2019

What does this planet actually need? The Dalai Lama has his views on this. Meanwhile, other leaders promise that their followers will be "winners", because that's what the world needs. Or at least, their people need to "win" and succeed.

My question is, given the state of the world: Do we need more "winners", implying that there will be some who conquer over others - the "losers"? Is life about "winning" or "losing", about success or failure?

If so, what is the definition of "winning" (usually meaning "those who are successful") and what is the definition of "losing" (implying "those who are unsuccessful"?)

At one point in my life, someone characterized me as living in the gutter. You couldn't come closer to being a loser, in this guy's opinion, it seemed. I was absolutely taken aback. No, I didn't have a steady income, but I did manage to pay my rent every month and provide for my children. No, my children might not have had every material "thingy" that a lot of their peers had, but they, in addition to a roof over their heads and food on the table, had a mother who loved them to the moon and back. One who was focused on them finding their geniune way in life, as precious indivuals being true to themselves. A mother who taught them that life often would be about trying to place their feet on the ground to feel if it was steady. Sometimes it would be and other times it wouldn't. Sometimes there would be heartbreak and other times they could do their happy dance. And through it all, they knew their mom had their backs and that I would always be there for them. Regardless. To stretch out my arms, hold them and cry with them if that was what they needed or to dance that happy dance with them, to celebrate whatever cause for celebration there was. And to help them navigate through that middle, confusing area.

I sometimes think about that guy and wonder about what spurred his reaction toward me. It probably had something to do with my chosing a freelance life, without a steady job and income. And maybe because material goods never really have meant much to me, which I doubt he ever can comprehend. I am happy renting an apartment, in a country where most people own theirs. In places like London and New York, renting never disqualifies you in any way. In Norway, it kind of does. I don't live his norm, nor do I desire that norm. My security is not in what I own, but in the relationships I have.

Peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds might not make up the dreamteam of some who want a team of "winners". Yet, those who make a difference in the world for more than just themselves, will be those who leave a lasting mark. Even if just for one other person. And in my book, there is no better measure for success.