Success, work, dictionary

My school sent students a message today:

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

That insight is, at best, wildly and optimistically simplistic.

It’s also telling students that if they experience sudden success they shouldn’t embrace it.

Sadly, it ignores the benefits certain people realize through the genetic lottery.

Disappointingly, it’s ignorant of the culture.

It negates the value of an outsider to make significant impact (a.k.a. outsider view, fresh eyes, devil’s advocate) in an otherwise closed loop.

Ultimately, it sets people up for disappointment when they work hard and well yet do not realize the success they envisioned.

However, it will spawn another generation of self-help and leadership pablum that will suck the money, energy, and hope of another generation of people looking to succeed.

And thus some people will succeed without any work effort or talent or ability or skill.

Also, how does one and who measures success? Is it an athletic director?

UPDATE: My reply to the college

I’m not sure what Joan Cronan’s story is, but I assume it cannot be condensed to a single quote.

Regardless, I have seen many people work hard and well yet not succeed due to race or gender or sexual orientation or finances or circumstance or any number of reasons one can disqualify another independent of ability.
I’ve seen people find remarkable success without much effort.
I’ve seen people born into remarkable success with no effort.
I’ve seen people lie, cheat, steal, connive, and bluster their way to success, sometimes with effort and work but more often with race and gender and finances on their side.
Hard work — and for the sake of the argument let’s assume the hard work is also good work — is not an automatic ticket to success.

Fear in America

We’ve become a nation so afraid of everything that we just lash out erratically, hoping big shows of strength will somehow keep the scary things at bay. On one level, that observation is depressingly true — and the Trump years only exacerbated that reality, as immigrants and other persecuted groups were held up as scapegoats for the country’s dumbest citizens to demonize. Hell, “Evil dies tonight” could have been a rallying cry the former president’s supporters yelled at, say, journalists. 

(Tim Grierson via Mel Magazine)

Oddly intersecting journeys

I told a young woman wearing a Pink Floyd Division Bell tour tee shirt that I saw the Floyd in Dallas on that tour, that it was a remarkable experience, and how the thunderstorm outside, seen through the cutout in the old Cowboy’s stadium roof, seemed like part of the show.

She got so excited for me. Then she said she bought the shirt because it looked cute. She liked the colors. I’m fairly certain that concert took place well before she was born.

Everyone has their journey, and sometimes two journeys intersect at odd angles.