Can Humanity Define Success?
There are various types and kinds of success – financial, personal career, physical, etc. Different people associate success with different things. Wanting success in a particular part of your life for personal gain is important and is a good motivator.
However, this story talks about a different kind of success, one we all need to strive to achieve – Succeeding at humanity.
Jack was a young boy hungry for success. He was taught that success is measured only by winning and that alone.
One day he called all his friends and challenged them for a race and gathered an audience around them. Everyone was excited to witness this race and they were aware of this young boy’s reputation and capabilities.
Amongst this large crowd was an old man who sat on a bench near the finishing point of the race.
When the race started, the boy instantly took the lead and within a few seconds, finished first in the race. The young boy’s hunger and determination to win is what motivated his strength and power.
The crowd cheered, waved and were ecstatic. On looking at their excitement, the boy demanded a second race so that he could experience this same feeling and adrenaline rush all over again. And so he did and this time the crowd cheered on even harder.
While these events were taking place, it almost seemed strange to see an old man sitting on a bench, showing no reaction to the boy’s winnings. This instantly made him stand out of the crowd and caught the boy’s attention.
When the boy approached the old man in the attempt to win his attention, the old man did not give in. Instead, he presented the boy with two new challengers – an elderly frail lady and a blind man.
At first the boy was confused but he instantly brushed that thought off him as his main motive was to win the race.
Once the race began, the boy took off with his original speed leaving the old woman and blind man behind. Within a few seconds, he won the race.
This time the crowd was silent. They showed no sentiment, emotion or excitement. The worried and confused boy immediately went up to the old man to ask him why his audience did not join in his success.
The old wise man gave him no reason or explanation but instead instructed him to redo his race but this time he asked the boy to help all the participants finish the race together. On doing so, the boy took the old woman and blind man by the hand and all three of them completed the race together. This time the crowd waved and cheered the loudest.
What does this mean?
During the little boy’s last race, he won much more than in any of his previous races. The crowd did not cheer for any of the three individuals who finished the race but collectively as a whole.
We often live our lives hungry for success and associate winning as the only way to succeed. We must realize that if you keep winning a race, people will eventually grow tired and soon stop cheering for you. Then what would you do? Would you not feel successful anymore?
Thus, this is a very unstable and temporary measurement or feeling of success and it’s the sole reason why humans are never completely satisfied – The more we have, the more we want.
What the old man was trying to teach the boy is that the journey of his race is what will really determine if he succeeded in it or not.
It is important to know who were the people you ran the race with – if they were old, weak or less capable than you and did you do anything to help them get across the line? At the end of the race, what type of a person did you evolve into?
In conclusion, life is like this race and success is not about reaching the finish line, it’s about how you ran the race and this “how” is what will really give you the feeling of pure success and satisfaction that no amount of cheering or silence can take away from you.