Back in October I sat in a meeting eating lunch with a handful of peers working in the same industry as me. As we talked conversation shifted from business to high school reunions. Someone in the group was approaching their ten year high school reunion and said they'd soon be going back to their hometown for the event. I was a bit surprised at how the tone of the conversation shifted as talk progressed on this topic.
Friends and colleagues enjoying conversation.
NASHVILLE, TN - The overwhelming theme of the chatter at the table regarding high school reunions was disdain toward their fellow classmates. It was as though everyone I was in company with for this lunch had all felt as though they were superior to their classmates. Why, you might ask? They all felt as though they were 'better' than their classmates still living in their hometown because they (by their own standards) had gone on to accomplish things and 'become someone' while everyone in their hometown was 'stuck' there spinning their wheels. Of course I was sitting at a table with peers in the entertainment industry so maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised to hear this parade of arrogance around me.
Success. How exactly do we define success as a culture?
Is success based on clout, title, income, power and fame? It sure seemed as though my peers surrounding me felt that way. It was gross if you ask me. It was unbecoming and prideful. But mostly it was sad. Life is so, so much more than those things.
I couldn't be more proud of the small town - and I mean 2,500 people small - I grew up in and of all the people that are still so-called, 'stuck' there. You know why? Those people aren't actually 'stuck' there. Those people are actually the people that make the world go round. Those are the people that are in the trenches raising families, caring for one another and making a difference in the lives of people around them by the small things. But the small things, in all reality are really the big things. All those people back in my small hometown teach and show one another on a daily basis what it means to give to others and not expect anything in return. All of those people back home teach and show me the kind of person I want to be. They show me it's not the things in life that are important, it's the people.
It is funny how some people think success makes them better than others.
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