success or you suck

there seems to be a lot of arguing lately (among talking tv heads, perhaps not among the general population) about the definition of success.  it does very much seem as though we live in a culture where money (the fact of having it) defines the entirety of a person’s worth.  i work in the financial sector and i work for a bunch of people whose entire lives have been devoted to money.  i often hear how “he’s a successful, smart guy”, “she’s a successful, smart woman” because they have money (even though many of them are shits and the history of their lives is not something to be proud of). many of these people worked hard their entire lives to amass the wealth they now have, many others were just born into the right family.   

maybe the current attitude of “i’ve got mine, go get your own” is an outgrowth of this same attitude about money.  in order to claim all credit for success, one has to ascribe all blame for failure i guess.   

donald trump claims all credit for his ‘success’ (having money) and conveniently leaves out the part about how his father (who actually was self-made) gave him $1,000,000 to get started in commercial real estate.  oh, how he had an already established company to inherit.  oh, and a company that absorbed his initial failures (the part about where he lost the $1,000,000 in bad business deals) let’s not even get started about his personal life.  

so the person who has a misfortune of a job loss in a bad economy that eats up their resources is considered a failure.  just like the family that has a member who gets a serious illness (even with health insurance) and has to cover those out-of-pocket expenses.  failure.  or the kid who was born into a set of family circumstances that were challenging to say the least.  even if they rise above their circumstances and get themselves to a ‘comfortable’ position in life, it still does not fulfill the current definition of ‘success’.  failure again.   

this is the time of year i get pedicures from a local place (i’ll give them the plug: sittin’ pretty on manoa road http://www.sittinprettynails.com/home/ ).  i usually go in on a saturday or sunday afternoon, when much of the family is there, some working, some hanging out.  i get a kick out of how open and endearing this entire family is.  they snip at each other, tell tales out of turn, the kids grumble about having to work on sundays, mom chides them at how lazy they are (all the kids are college graduates, working good full-time jobs) and the laughter never seems to end.  last saturday they even held a baby shower for kimmie, complete with international crowd and international banquet.   

i know a little about the family background of jenny, the owner of sittin’ pretty, but i have no idea how much money they make.  what i can clearly see is that they are a human embodiment of the american dream and a great success.   

i was lucky enough recently to find a day when all three of our kids and their husband, boyfriend and girlfriend could join us for dinner.  there was delicious food (contributed by each couple and C), plenty of cocktails and both hilarious and thoughtful conversation.  i was busting with pride as i looked around the table at each person and took stock of who they are and how much they already had to be proud of in their lives.  we’re comfortable, able to weather financial storms, but not wealthy.   

go ahead, try to tell me that we aren’t successful.  just watch your head while you do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

there seems to be a lot of arguing lately (among talking tv heads, perhaps not among the general population) about the definition of success.  it does very much seem as though we live in a culture where money (the fact of having it) defines the entirety of a person’s worth.  i work in the financial sector and i work for a bunch of people whose entire lives have been devoted to money.  i often hear how “he’s a successful, smart guy”, “she’s a successful, smart woman” because they have money (even though many of them are shits and the history of their lives is not something to be proud of). many of these people worked hard their entire lives to amass the wealth they now have, many others were just born into the right family. 

 

maybe the current attitude of “i’ve got mine, go get your own” is an outgrowth of this same attitude about money.  in order to claim all credit for success, one has to ascribe all blame for failure i guess. 

 

donald trump claims all credit for his ‘success’ (having money) and conveniently leaves out the part about how his father (who actually was self-made) gave him $1,000,000 to get started in commercial real estate.  oh, how he had an already established company to inherit.  oh, and a company that absorbed his initial failures (the part about where he lost the $1,000,000 in bad business deals) let’s not even get started about his personal life.

 

so the person who has a misfortune of a job loss in a bad economy that eats up their resources is considered a failure.  just like the family that has a member who gets a serious illness (even with health insurance) and has to cover those out-of-pocket expenses.  failure.  or the kid who was born into a set of family circumstances that were challenging to say the least.  even if they rise above their circumstances and get themselves to a ‘comfortable’ position in life, it still does not fulfill the current definition of ‘success’.  failure again. 

 

this is the time of year i get pedicures from a local place (i’ll give them the plug: sittin’ pretty on manoa road http://www.sittinprettynails.com/home/ ).  i usually go in on a saturday or sunday afternoon, when much of the family is there, some working, some hanging out.  i get a kick out of how open and endearing this entire family is.  they snip at each other, tell tales out of turn, the kids grumble about having to work on sundays, mom chides them at how lazy they are (all the kids are college graduates, working good full-time jobs) and the laughter never seems to end.  last saturday they even held a baby shower for kimmie, complete with international crowd and international banquet. 

 

i know a little about the family background of jenny, the owner of sittin’ pretty, but i have no idea how much money they make.  what i can clearly see is that they are a human embodiment of the american dream and a great success. 

 

i was lucky enough recently to find a day when all three of our kids and their husband, boyfriend and girlfriend could join us for dinner.  there was delicious food (contributed by each couple and C), plenty of cocktails and both hilarious and thoughtful conversation.  i was busting with pride as i looked around the table at each person and took stock of who they are and how much they already had to be proud of in their lives.  we’re comfortable, able to weather financial storms, but not wealthy. 

 

go ahead, try to tell me that we aren’t successful.  just watch your head while you do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “success or you suck

  1. Hello,

    We are so happy to have been mentioned in your blog in such glowing terms. We really do strive to make Sittin’ Pretty a family business and our customers an extension of our family. Thank you so much for your kind words!!!

    Diem (the oldest daughter who parties too much according to mom Jenny :D)

  2. That was a very nice blog…

    I hope you have a blessed day…. kimmee is actually in the hospital right now about to give birth!

    =P

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