Remember the blog project I did last year with three other women? Well, Froggie decided to resurrect it with me and we each got to invite another friend to join us. She invited a mutual friend (someone I met through her) and I invited a friend whose blog I really enjoy reading. So now it's Froggie, Mom of Many, Moma Rock and Merrylandgirl. Hope you enjoy the topics that we'll be exploring!
This week, Mom of Many picked the topic: Hypothetically, a credible authority from the universe reveals that the meaning of life is one big talent show. Success is measured not by money, but the extent to which your contributions to society actually increase the quality of life for others. If the reward for winning was truly exquisite, how would this revelation change your game plan?
Before reading ahead, first see what everyone else had to say on this topic:
Mom of Many
I had no idea what Mom of Many was originally asking and felt like I was on an episode of "Dawson's Creek," so I asked her to clarify.
The question is, how would you change your goals and objectives if you were being judged based on how you make the world a better place (increase the quality of life for others). In our current structure, the folks that are revered tend to make a lot of money and don't necessarily improve the world much. Think athletes, actors, Wall Street dudes, etc. Money is power in our society.
Something about this question made me think of the movie "In Time," where success is measured by how much time is showing on your arm. It was based in this futuristic society where people get these watches embedded in their arms and time ticks down until you die, unless you can earn more of it. Those who are the most successful have the most time. The scary part is, once you run out, you really do die. If you run out of money, you're living on the streets, but you don't necessarily die unless you completely give up on life.
Anyway, I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I'm incredibly burnt out from Passover prep, daily grocery trips and errands and towing at least one kid around at all times. I'll be glad when the holiday starts back up tonight and I can just relax without having to worry what is going on in cyberspace.
I don't really know if I have an answer to this question. If I'm going to increase the quality of life for others, I would do it because I WANT to and because I genuinely care...not because society is dictating that I'll be more successful as a result. I work in non-profit, at an organization that brings in money from donors to help out a specific religious sector of the region where I reside. By working there, I feel I am contributing to society. I'm not the one going out to solicit for the money, but I am still part of the greater good. I like working someplace meaningful.
In my personal life, I feel that my book blog helps increase the quality of life for authors, whether they are just starting out or whether they are on their 15th novel. I heard from Jodi Picoult that women writers don't get as many book reviews as men writers. Just reviewing a book is a huge shout-out for an author, as there are a lot of people reading my blog and the reviews could potentially help their sales. They also help the authors know what to do when they write their next books, as I feel I give fair and honest constructive criticism. There are more books than there are people like me to read them, so I started a new feature to spotlight some new books that people may or may not have heard of yet. I like to consider myself (and everyone with whom I work on the blog) a book cheerleader. I never was a cheerleader for sports, but I have always loved to read and this is my way of spreading the love.
I also love to network for people and/or do whatever I can to make someone else's dream come true in some way or another. It could be something small or something huge. It just comes out of me caring about people. If I was able to help someone find a job or meet their true love, while it would be a head trip for me, I would genuinely be happy for the recipient because something good happened for them. I can't reach out far and wide because that's just overstretching my boundaries and resources and I also have my family to take care of and my own life to maintain. However, if and when I can do something to help someone else, it makes me truly happy. Last fall, I was able to network so that my friend's son could meet his favorite singer after her concert. I did it because he is a sweet kid and I know how much he likes this singer. It made me so happy to see a video of him meeting her and the look on his face was priceless. This kind of experience is related to what I mentioned earlier...I did it because I care. No one was dictating to me that I would be more or less successful if I did or didn't do it. I was just glad that my friend's son got to have such an experience. I love giving things to people, as well. Even just little presents or things I picked out that made me think of them. Again, I do this on a smaller scale, but it's a nice feeling nonetheless. It makes me happy when I can make someone's day by doing something simple. I would rather continue doing that voluntarily than ever use it as a means of societal success. The success for me just comes from within. Now I'm motivated to volunteer for "Make a Wish Foundation," even though I don't know if I could handle the emotional involvement, now that I'm a parent. Granting a dying wish seems so meaningful, but also so final. I'd also feel like a hypocrite sending someone else's kid to Disney World when I have yet to take my own, but it might also be a good way to teach my kids about being grateful for what they do have.