Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Musings on Success Envy*

I have a thing about education. Some people want to be famous, some want to be rich. I want to be highly educated. At first it sounds harmless, because education is a good thing, but naturally the carnal monster in me takes that good thing and makes it about status. Highly educated people… people with multiple PhDs… they’ve got it going on. Nobody can argue with someone like that (unless they, too, have multiple doctorates), which is half the draw. There are very few people with those kind of credentials in this world and chances are, I’ll run into maybe a couple. So if I had myself a PhD or two, I would win every argument and people would ask for my professional opinion, which I would give, quite humbly. I crave the chance to give a “humble” opinion that everyone wants to hear.

When I put it that way, maybe I should just go to law school. I do love winning a good, well reasoned argument. Life is a game and I intend to WIN. That’ll show ‘em.

So really my problem, and, if I may, the problem of those fame-seekers, is that we want to be respected and recognized for our accomplishments. We just have to accomplish something first.

People that want to be rich are just selfish.

Just kidding. I want money, too. Because then, I could humbly distribute it to the less fortunate.

It would be easy to say, “Oh. My motivation is impure. I should not finish graduate school if that’s the real reason I want to get my Master’s.” But that doesn’t fix it, because then I make other things about success. I judge myself on how good of a cook I am or how clean my house is. Whether I can make that pillow/those curtains/that skirt myself. Whether I dress well. It doesn’t matter what I do, I’m hopelessly addicted to doing the BEST in EVERYTHING and doing it FASTEST. Rarely am I content to admit that I don’t know anything about such and such a subject and be content with not knowing.

Lima beans. I know nothing about the horticulture and business of lima beans. And I am content not knowing.

But that’s about it.

Here’s the glory of a lazy person: they’re typically pretty content not doing stuff or being good at stuff or having accolades. Motivated people get all the credit and none of the satisfaction. How good can that be? Give a lazy person a tv and a remote and they’re happy while I scrub and sew and study and sweat myself into discontentment.

There must be a middle ground, but pat me on the back if I can manage to stay there more than 10 minutes per year.

But if I could, if I could balance motivation and contentment, that would show ‘em.

And I would show them (humbly, of course).

*I was going to title this, "Succenvy", but when you say it aloud, it sounds like, "Sexenvy" which is something I do not know about and am content not knowing about. That and lima beans.


Megan said...

You are hilarious. And you are smart. But one thing is for sure, plenty of people with those higher education degrees are complete idiots who think they are now smart because they have more years of schooling and letters behind their name. I can think of multiple people right off the bat that you and I will forever be smarter than just because we are who we are (take that for being humble!). Now I'm not talking about folks like our good friend Jim who is actually a genius and expanding our knowledge of the universe while we eat. BUT still - he boasts liberal beliefs. I think you'd win an argument or two with him. We have our parents/God to thank for our ever so rare maturity that comes from a wisdom that cannot be learned in school. I could go on and on.

In the meantime, you can take some of that pent up energy and prove to me that you can make pillows and curtains and blankets anytime!

marigirl said...

you are so funny! I'm not sure if this will make you feel better, but my sister is studying for her pH d in something I totally don't care about and I have no intention of ever asking her opinion or advice on whatever it is, because she is my little sister and therefore I know everything. So maybe you should have like 10 kids, because they and your little sister may be the best candidates to whole-heartedly soak up your every counsel. That's my plan, anyway...eventually.