What's success?

The following is an item I found in a Sydney newspaper recently. Apologies to the author but I no longer have the article so you'll have to remain anonymous.

"What went wrong with success?"
What went wrong, I think, and why everyone is pretty unhappy now, is that the 18th century idea of Duty was replaced by the 20th century idea of Success.

Once upon a time - in the 1920's, say - you could lie on your deathbed in a cold, grey room, unvisited, and still feel proud because you'd served your king, your country, your village, your family, your god, and so die happy, or somewhat happy.

In the `40s, a Success roughly meant being a homeowner, who served on the municipal council, had four children and was well liked by the neighbours.

In the `90s, a Success is an inindicted, overnight billionaire in control of all the broadcast technology of outer space, or a film star charging $20 million a picture. And very few of us are the above; and those who aren't are buying handguns.

Please let's bring back Duty. It's available to everyone. And we can all succeed at it.

Well it certainly does have a point ... Success these days seems to be something that's unachievable, unless you are a Kerry Packer or Mel Gibson. And without any real hope of gaining success, what does that do to people and society? Apathy and mindless drudgery? Maybe 1984 and brave New World weren't too far out after all. Why we even have the New World Order. It says something about the world today when it's safer (mentally and physically) to live with your head buried in the sand, ostrich style.

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