Success should be shared around not seen as a game of monopoly.

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Has your child ever come home from school declaring “I want to get into business because I want to create as many jobs as possible for poor people.”

You don’t have to answer because the philosophy informing the current definition of ‘success’ in any chosen career begins with self interest. This credo of self interest is promoted for the greater part by our system educationally and politically.

This self interest and its promotion ultimately fail our society.

Why is it that our educational and political system fall down so badly when it comes to inculcating in the minds of young people that ‘personal success’ should carry with it at all times the tag of ‘civic responsibility.’

If young people hear only one message – that success amounts to self aggrandisement and the accumulation of personal wealth, why would emerging generations see themselves as custodians of ‘civic responsibility?’

This alternative way of seeing one’s role in society demands turning the current notion of ‘success’ on its head.

Why do we not hear our politicians, religious leaders and teachers imploring us to rewrite out thinking? Should one’s personal success not be moulded in a philosophy of care for our fellow human being?

In the past week I had three pairs of shoes soled. Historically my old shoes would have ended up in the bin.

Our local cobbler wants this recession to continue. Business is booming for him. He has to get a living too.

Previously was I concerned about the cobbler? The answer is no. It is not too late to learn.

[This article originally appeared on Slugger O’Toole]

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I am a regular contributor to discussion programmes on TV and radio both at home and abroad. An experienced political editor and author specialising in Politics, Security and 20th Century Art.

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