Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Is this Success?

I like this structure painting with all of its texture and a very limited palette of colour. Even better it is a painting created from looking at just one single "weed" along the edge of the road.

I might even call it a success. But then what is success ? How do we know if we have ever succeeded?

There is a lovely true tale that takes me part way to the answer to my own question and then a memory that takes me back years but give me the full answer. 

A young man was visiting a very beautiful restaurant. The decoration was subtle and beautiful. The young man entering the restaurant was so absorbed in the surroundings he failed to notice that one of the members of staff was busy cleaning the mosaic flooring, brining it back to all its glory and splendour. 

As he walked on he missed his footing and slipped on the wet floor. As he crashed towards the floor and an almost serious accident the way he was falling he was caught by a fifteen year old boy in a wheelchair. 

The young man was very grateful and was about to thank him when the boy in the wheelchair said, "This is almost exactly how I ended up in this wheelchair. I was injured in a very similar fall two years ago and there was nobody there to catch me. I can no longer walk so it is a great measure of success to me that today I was there to catch you.

Success indeed!

But I remember a friend of my mother saying to me that I should work hard at school so that I could be a success. 

At the time I did not know what success was, did not know the meaning of the word and nobody explained to me. Being me, of course I remembered the word and asked my mother on more than one occasion what it meant. 

It seemed every time I asked I was given a different answer. It was to be good at sport. It was to be able to earn a good wage and live a comfortable life. It was to own beautiful things and be known in society. It was to be respected. 

My grandmother gave me a different answer to everybody else and it stuck with me even to this day. She told me,  "Success is what makes you happy and feel content with life. When you look back on what you have done and you smile because you have many happy memories then you are a success! Success is not measured by what you accumulate around you it is what you have inside you.

To be there for another when needed is the true measure of success. 

Have a wonderful day.

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