Makes an Ass out of You (Part Two)

Something doesn’t have to make you rich in order for it to be meant to be. In our money-obsessed world, people have come to measure success and even worth on the amount of money they generate. As a result, those who earn large amounts of money are deemed successful and those who don’t are presumed to have not yet reached their full potential. This is a mistake; first, because money doesn’t always reflect a person’s talent and effort, and also because money is an insignificant man-created substance.

When people talk about their dreams they always say things like, “I feel it’s meant to be, I’m meant to be in movies and on Broadway you know?” and “I can just see myself on performing in Madison Square Garden.” This doesn’t just extend to careers in show business either; people who want to be lawyers or doctors are more focused on making six-figure salaries than helping people. Authors-to-be can only visualize success in the form of a spot on the New York Times Best Seller list. Everybody envisions their dreams in terms of the best-case scenario, but the setback is that they construct this scenario on money.

This is my problem: why does something have to bring you riches and fame in order for it to be “meant to be?” Just because being an actress is your destiny doesn’t mean that you have to be a Hollywood star. Why is it so hard to consider that maybe you’re meant to be an actress in community theatre? Whether you’re in Hollywood or in the playhouse down the street, you’re still an actress. The two different locations aren’t indicators of your talent or merit, or of the amount of destiny visible in your career choice. That’s all they are, two different locations. Your passion and enthusiasm toward your occupation cannot be ascribed to your salary or celebrity, it will be decided by whether or not you are doing something you truly love; this is what’s important.

Another thing that bothers me is when people tell others that they are blessed because of their job. In these cases this “blessing” always seems to rely on the amount of money the person is making. Rarely will a person tell a broke writer or comedian that they are blessed because of their occupation, but everyone assumes that famous actors and musicians are “blessed.” Why? Because they make so much money. Money is not an indicator of blessedness, money is something that man created — it did not arrive from the heavens. Blessings come in the form of family, friends, a good day, things that money can’t buy. God does not bestow His kindness in green bills with the faces of slave owners on them. But people think that He does.

I’m not saying it’s bad to dream or desire success for yourself; but I am saying that it’s not good to only think of these accomplishments in terms of wealth and fame. If you are happy with your career, that is all that matters. Whether you make $12,000 or $10 million a year is trivial. The money and fame won’t be able to buy you happiness; only the peace of mind resulting from knowing that you are dedicating your life to something you genuinely enjoy can bring you that. Choose your paths wisely my Anteaters, and consider your happiness over the number of digits in your income when doing so. ZOT!

Belester Benitez is a fourth-year English major. He can be reached at bbenitez@uci.edu.