Sunday, April 27, 2014

How can anyone be "self made"?

How can it make sense for anyone to say their success is self made?
Even if they had lived on an island alone all their lives and were able to thrive, would they not be thankful for the gifts of the land? Would they not feel lucky that a storm had not destroyed them?
Here in the United States it seems we take a lot for granted. We benefit from the labor of millions of people every day and millions more who labored many years ago.
Consider all the things you have been given throughout your life? Consider all the things you have enjoyed? These things cost someone something.
Our parents gave us shelter, food and clothing. They took us places, bought ice cream and gifts. Start totaling that up and consider the bounty given - GIVEN!
In our lifetimes can we really pay enough taxes to pay for the education, the roads we drive on, the bridges we cross, the public parks, roadside rests, and countless other benefits of government or community? Not likely. It's our collective contributions that make these things possible.
It's the same for business. No one built a successful business alone. People worked for us, with us, encouraged us, and labored on our behalf. Anyone who has succeeded in business has benefited from someone else in some way. It was not accomplished alone on an island. If the business succeeds it's because everyone involved is giving more than their money's worth - they are contributing to the bottom line.
Yes some of us work a little harder or smarter or are luckier. But no one is self made. We need a lot more gratitude in this country. We need a lot more recognition of the importance of collective accomplishment. We need a lot less arrogance and a lot more appreciation.

1 comment:

  1. I could not agree more. The idea that if I work hard and meet with success, I am somehow deserving, is to me, absurd. As I mark off the years it grows increasingly obvious that I have not gotten to this place in life without the wisdom, generosity and acceptance of a great many people.

    I was baffled by the self righteous anger of those who reacted with such animosity to Obama's statement a few years ago when he said, "You didn't build that." Too many are oblivious to the extent this country generously affords certain individuals unlimited opportunities, only to attribute success to their own brains and hard work. It is good to hear your passion on the topic.