ROSE NOLEN: Success can come without money

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Most of the people I know don’t hate successful people. On the contrary, they admire them. But it must be terrible to suspect that those around you are envious of your accomplishments, even if it isn’t true. It indicates that one has a very limited perspective and a narrow view of other people.

There are many paths to success. Some people are successful mothers; some are successful fathers. Some are successful because they are the kind of people they are, and others are successful for what they have done with their lives. But almost always these people have a dedicated sense of purpose, which is the driving force in their success.

The most that can be said about rich people is that they have made a lot of money. This means that they have been a financial success. There are some people who admire people who make lots of money. But it’s been my experience that some billionaires are admirable and others are not. The mere fact that they have a lot of money is neither here nor there.

Some people are very preoccupied with their own financial good fortune and would like others to be preoccupied with it as well. They are disappointed that others don’t find them to be special people. These tend to be people who are basically immature and who feel that having money compensates for lacking other qualities.

Many people find hating people because they are rich to be a waste of time and effort. They have more productive things to do. Basically they tend to be concerned with their own business. Usually they find happiness in other ways. Some are happy just trying to make the world a better place than they found it. Some don’t view those who have run into misfortune as helpless victims, and they actually don’t mind offering a helping hand to those who need it.

Some of us actually enjoy sharing a community with other people. They feel that the fact that some are better off than others offers them an opportunity to be of service. My favorite neighbors once were two women who shared a home together and each had a disability. One could not hear, and the other had trouble with her sight. They were enormously pleased to share a domain where each could accommodate the other in sharing their gifts.

The world must truly be an ugly place to those who feel that the needy and downtrodden are worthless people who expect other people to provide for their care. Fortunately, most of us have seen some of the good and bad times in life and been blessed to know that the bad times often served as lessons provided for our enlightenment. We have been able to see in the plight of others that there but for the grace of God.

In times like these, I feel so lucky to have had a good teacher in my mother. I avoided so many bad experiences because I was never allowed the opportunity to become so overly interested in myself that I could become unaware of the needs of people around me. And now I can look at so many who have so much and feel so sorry they have made such a mess of their lives simply because they never learned to love their neighbor because their neighbor was poor.    

I’m glad I learned to love.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.

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Michael Williams September 25, 2012 | 11:04 a.m.

"The most that can be said about rich people is that they have made a lot of money."


The most?

You could have deleted your entire missive and left only this sentence, since it is the one that expresses what you really believe. All else was just filler. Thank you for expressing this suite of beliefs so clearly and succinctly.

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