To Succeed or Not Succeed
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" (thus implying "those who are unsuccessful"?)
I know that at one point in my life, someone characterized me as living in the gutter. Closer to being a loser you couldn't come in this guy's view, 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 - AND 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 could 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 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 towards me. It probably had something to do with my chosing a life without a steady job and income, and instead living as a freelancer. And maybe because material goods never really has 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. Perhaps, 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.
These past couple of years has put a strain on my relationships. Being chronically ill, I need to portion out my energy. I mostly focus it on my creative work as a storyteller or on my closest family. There is often very little little left for friends. Which saddens me, because I miss them. Yet I know that the relationships that matter will transcend and survive this trial.
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.