Monday, 5 May 2014

Measuring A Successful Lifetime

One of the great lines is the idea that being the richest person in the cemetery doesn't count for anything so when we reach the end of our life, how can we judge if we have been a success in the 80 or so years that we have been on the planet?
We could look at bank balance but as in the opening line, you don't need money where you are going and wealth doesn't really equate to success, it may be an inheritance or a lottery win.
We could consider a persons personal achievements but again that be be skewed by opportunities that presented themselves in their lifetime, someone working three jobs and living hand to mouth is not going to have the time or finances to undertake college courses or win prizes.
Another criteria could be the persons employment but again that could be skewed by circumstances such as opportunities during the working life or even knowing the right people in the right places.
If we set aside all material things, we could count how many people turn up at your funeral as a measure of how successful you have been but that is unfair as a person working in a large office will know and have met more people and formed relationships with them then someone who is a self-employed plumber who pops into someones life to fix their dodgy shower and never sees them again.
My own philosophy on just how successful someone has been in their life is how many people, when discussing the deceased person, have nice things to say about them.        
If most people say 'you know what, she was a nice person' and not 'you know what, she was a bit of a cow' then i would suggest that leaving people with a good impression of you represents a successful time while you were here much more than how much you had in the bank.

1 comment:

Keep Life Simple said...

Seems reasonable.

Though i know nice people that didnt contribute much to the world. I prefer impact on community as the measure. Could be in education, charity, economic, arts, health, etc.

Q