Success Defined

I was exploring the meaning of success. Seated next to a stranger at a luncheon, I asked him for his view on the topic. “My son is a success,” he answered.

Inwardly I groaned. “Crumbs,” I thought, “now I’m in for it.” I resigned myself to hearing about his wildly successful hedge fund manager son and his adorable grandchildren.  Having no means of escape, I said, “Do tell me about him.”

So he did.

His son, he said, was a rotten kid from the day he was born. By the time he was 12, he had already been in trouble with the law.

At 17, his son had dropped out of school and become a drug dealer. He made so much money, he was able to buy himself a monster expensive motor bike. Three days later, he lost control of the bike and hit a tree.  In an instant, he was paralyzed. He was a paraplegic. He would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

The accident happened a few years ago. Since then, the son has invented several valuable tools designed to help those with disabilities. He has testified before Congress on behalf of handicapped people. And yes, he married and has three adorable children.

My luncheon companion said his son had achieved success in his journey of life.

I agreed.

Success comes in many guises.