There’s a question I continually have going around in my head. Whenever I start to feel discouraged about my writing, my career, or my ability to be a friend. Really any time I get discouraged in my pursuit of doing good in any way. This question always comes back. Every time.
“If just one life is changed, is it worth it?”
It’s a simple question, and funny enough, the answer to it never changes for me. It’s always, “Yes.”
Sometimes I hate that the answer never changes. Sometimes I hate looking at a big challenge and having to answer, “Yes.” I hate looking at the lack of a huge response from something I’ve worked on and still having to answer, “Yes.” I hate looking at the poor results of something that I invested my time and my heart into and having to answer, “Yes.”
It’s tricky to feel like you’ve done anything well when you’re definition of success is not accurate. The world tends to define success in terms of money and followers. How many people like what you’re doing? How much money do you make? How many people know your name? If we define success with those standards, we may never feel like we’ve done anything that mattered.
But is one life worth it? I think it is. I could go talk with you for hours about all the people in my life that have made me a better person. Family, friends and even people I don’t know. Older and younger than me, so many people have shaped my life for the better. I’d hate if they said that I wasn’t worth it.
There’s been a lot of award shows on lately. A lot of praise for celebrities and the ones whose names are known by millions of people. (As if they needed anymore praise.) If you know me (especially if you follow me on Twitter), you’ve probably realized that I’m not a huge fan of most celebrities and politicians. But the funny thing is, I still get jealous of them. And that jealousy comes from the fact that I am poorly defining success.
I watched the Grammy’s and the Golden Globes and saw all the awards given out. I was impressed by some and appalled by others. The verse I came across shortly after was Luke 16:15, “What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.”
Jesus was saying that all of the fame and “success” really means jack squat at the end of the day. No matter how many awards you have. No matter how many people know your name. If it’s not done to honor God, then it’s really bupkis.
If you never sell a million records, but one person starts playing the guitar and writing songs because you inspired them to, are you a failure?
If you never get teacher of the year, but one student feels loved for the first time in their lives because of you, are you a failure?
If you never obtain a higher title than “Assistant” in your career, but your neighbors confide in you about their struggles and trust your counsel, are you a failure?
Success can have many definitions for many people. What’s your definition? If just one life is changed, is it worth it?