Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What is success?

I am one of those folks who grew up thinking if I made a million dollars I would be successful especially if I did it before I was 30 years old.  I have always held in high esteem those who had fame and financial success but as I have gotten older I find success means much much more.

Last Saturday Bob and Jan Harris had a celebration of over 50 years of marriage.  Bob's sister Norma and her husband Johnny of Memphis area have been married 54 years.  Janis, the little sister, who now lives in Kansas with her husband must be over 40 years married.  All together that is three children of Vea and Gordon Harris who have stayed married a lifetime.  Eddy the youngest child, who was one of my dearest childhood friends, died about 10 years ago and Gordon,their father, died when they were young so you would have to say Vea was a very successful mother.  Oh my goodness, I forgot David and Jan who have been married longer than dirt and he is the oldest son of Vea and Gordon.

So what else makes up success?  I am going to get in trouble for this but my daughter, Wynter, has spent the first 10 years of her adult life as a missionary sacrificing the all-mighty dollar for helping others.  How about those who "raise your child up in the way they should go" (that is direct from the Bible) and focus on the relationship with their spouse and children (family) verses focusing on making money, are they successful?  ABSOLUTELY!  Now I want to make it clear that once we raise them and they are old enough to make decisions they are responsible for their mistakes and they reap the harvest of bad decisions as well as good ones.  

Success means a lot of things to different folks and I am grateful that it does mean a lot of different things to each of us.  How about all those military folks like Mark Whitt who were in the military for a career and never made a lot of money?  I think I would call that success.  How about all of those teachers who taught us so that we could go on and make a good living or even make a lot of money?  I think they were very successful.  

In summary I think success can be summed up as "doing the best you can in all endeavors and when things go wrong getting up and continuing on doing your best while still respecting others and being honest and having integrity in your life".  I had a friend say, "people can steel almost anything and everything from you but YOU have to give your integrity away", your choice.

So what do you learn in the Osage?
  • Marriage is not easy but it is worth it
  • Money is a tool not a destination
  • Life is a journey and what you do with it is your choice, don't bitch about your choices
  • Eternity is a choice even if you do not believe in it.  You might consider reading up on this one.
Thanks for your time,
gary@thepioneerman.com

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