Society & Culture
I’ve noticed that especially in America that there is a heavy emphasis put on what your career, job or occupation is. One of the first things I’m asked when I meet new people is “What do you do?”. Our culture and society has begun to ingrain what with do with who we are. Since when is our identity tied up in what we do?
Are you what you do? I don’t think so. That has become the quickest way to cover up who you are and also delude yourself into seeing yourself as something you aren’t. It also is a disadvantage because we forget to ask about who people really are. We gloss over them what we find out that what they do is something menial or not high enough up the social stigma chain.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that our assets define our level of success. If you don’t have enough assets, then you are obviously not successful at what you do. If you have lots of assets, then you are a success, even if the assets fell into your lap, you inherited them or they magically appeared by some other means. obviously this is not a good standard of success.
I heard that eastern culture equate a person success based on how much they have given and that makes a lot more sense to me. What if we started measuring success by what we give away? 2 things would happen. First, there would be a huge shift in evaluating who is successful. Many people who are currently seen as successful would conspicuously be now a huge failure. the other dramatic shift would be how people would start giving more. I believe that soup kitchens, homeless shelters and youth centers around the country would have enough resources to move forward with their mission.
What do we do to change the 2 concerns? Well, it may not be possible to change how society sees us and evaluates our success. But perhaps we can be confident in who we are and what makes us successful internally, so that it doesn’t matter how others see us. And that really does make us successful regardless of what society & culture have to say.