I have always thought that LIFE was a gift. I didn’t assume it. I believed it. I believed and still believe that life is a gift, a gift to be treasured.

To be given the gift of EXPERIENCE is something to be honoured, respected and revered, not wasted or tossed away.

And that is why I find it so difficult to understand why anyone would choose to trample on someone else’s gift.

We have all been given the gift of life by virtue of our birth. Granted, some are born into seemingly more advantageous circumstances, but the history of man is replete with examples of those who rose above their birth circumstances and achieved success and even greatness beyond expectations.

How do we define success? Or greatness?

I suppose success is best defined by the one experiencing it. Greatness may be defined by those experiencing the shared results of those who have achieved success.

We all have our own views on what is good or bad, success or failure, etc. etc. But in the end we have to answer to ourselves. To put the judgment of our success in the hands of another, or others, is to me, already a factor of failure. Of course we all want to be acknowledged. But for the acknowledgment to carry any weight, we must first establish our own criteria, our own understanding and perception of the level of our achievements. When I’m on my death bed I don’t want to be looking for validation form others. I want to have it and know it, already, in my heart and soul, by virtue of the life I have lived.

In DON QUIXOTE, the author Cervantes speaks of holding soldiers in his arms as they lay dying. He remarks on the look in their eyes, questioning ‘why?’ Not why they are dying. But why they have lived.

I want to die knowing why I have lived, and to be proud of it, fulfilled by it, and content to pass on.

And for those I leave behind – I wish for them nothing but success as they define it for themselves as they move forward – as move forward they must, into their own futures.

Life should be a celebration. It should not be a battleground for survival. And yet that is what is most often expressed. A battle for survival.

Between species – okay, I get it. But within species? The instinct for survival is basic to our genetic coding. But we are human, and pretend to be masters of our universe. Masters, at least, of other known species of life.

And still we fight one another. Competition is one thing – but to subjugate, and destroy one another? That is abject FAILURE!

So in conclusion, make your choice. Do you seek only survival, or rather success and possibly greatness? I would suggest that if you have an excess of money at your disposal but have left a trail of dispirited, subjugated, and/or destroyed opponents along the way then maybe you might consider yourself a financial success… maybe. But that’s it.

If, on the other hand, you have sufficient money at your disposal, but are connected to a circle of family, friends, associates, partners and yes, maybe even acolytes, with whom you have shared the bounty and rewards of your experience, then you might consider yourself on the verge of greatness… maybe. And much more.

Live. Love. Prosper.

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