Life is not about being jealous of others’ success* nor is it about feeling superior to others due to race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, language, or whatever other factor in which we may categorize others.
Life is rather about helping those around us realize their potential, endeavoring to remain humble in our acts, and learning from each interaction with others — every human being has a lesson to offer, from all walks of life. I am certain of this. To think otherwise is simply refusing to accept the reality that the world encompasses more than our singular life. And to live with envy/anger arising from the happenings of others is not only counter-productive and detracting from our own progress, but it also does little to bring about happiness onto ourselves. In this light, it is vital to cultivate a strong internal frame of reference as to the standards of the determinants our own success and inner values (something I admittedly have struggled with, as many of us do) — resilience in the face of difficulty.
Indeed, we should aspire to reach the goals that we embark upon, inspiring ourselves from those individuals (role models) who have faired well in their own achievements, while remaining cognizant of the fragility of our own current situation and state of affairs.
No single person is necessarily entitled to anything more than any other person per se. Circumstances converged to result in more favorable conditions that in effect occur haphazardly, by random chance, to engender a privileged socio-economic status and set of opportunities for some, and less for others.** As such, I consider it meaningful to bear this in mind when perceiving the world as a positive-sum game wherein the success and support of someone is mutually beneficial for everybody involved, and to recognize that we are all fundamentally equal with varying degrees of enabling/inhibiting predispositions. (More on this subject in past posts: “Navigating Through Life – My Perspective” and “Enlarge Your Circle of Influence & Enable Others and Yourself”.)
Kings are dethroned, empires fall, and multi-billion dollar companies file for bankruptcy.
Within this finite and ever-changing context in which we live, I put forth the following: life is about living beyond oneself. Life is about positively imparting others, doing more good than harm, and striving to leave behind a virtuous impact as a legacy that extends beyond our lifetime.
* I am referring to success instrumented through honest and respectful means. I have no tolerance and a strong distaste for those carrying out illegal activities, cheating, lying, stealing, etc. to obtain their objectives.
** By no means am I criticizing work ethic nor am I disregarding social mobility. For the purpose of my argument, I am highlighting those who do not have access to the same resources due to factors external to their control (existing prior to birth), such as education, financial stability, family heritage, or social networks.