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Success does not exist. It is a fabrication; words spun together without evidence of any physical entity. I cannot hold “success” in my hands. My fingers cannot run over grooves, scratches, and ridges; success has no texture. Some say that wealth constitutes success, but I and a thousand miserable millionaires easily realize this falsity. The touch of soft green cotton paper cannot evoke emotions intrinsic to humanity because money, like success, is a human construct. Men decided what success would be, and they decide what success is. They print another pretentious label, another feeble attempt at defining life and the universe.

It is a faith, really; a religion. We as consumers, as students, as humans, chase a first-world nirvana by committing actions we believe will get us there. The streets of Heaven are paved with gold, lovers, and desperation (essentially Las Vegas). We pine after an idea, an ideal that tells us what we want to hear. We hold the faith of our future in a concept that bears no physical evidence. We, as a society, have created a lifelong competition: creating our own challenges to chase after a false idol. A puzzle with no final piece, a tunnel with no end: humanity has sanctified a status that no one can realistically achieve. Our preachers are Forbes and Economy; modern-day sacraments are Ivy League Degrees: a sheet of paper which holds no worth until printed upon. It is all a lie told by our elders who were told by their elders who wanted better for their children.

Rarely are we told to chase fulfillment. Rarely are we honestly encouraged to chase happiness in our accomplishments. Often told to face reality, dreamers and visionaries set aside their curious hearts and inventive longing for a cubicle and a mediocre salary. The value of a human life cannot be written in a resumé. Society constructs walls that deny us of true personal achievement. We walk through a maze, determined to find an end, though many of us fear the possibilities of what lies beyond our entrapments.

We stand together and apart as comrades in a competition of wits and wealth, except there is no finish line. There is no game over, there is no podium or winner’s circle. We waste our lives sprinting breathlessly, turning corners in search of easy answers and worthless materials. On my deathbed, I will not receive a certificate of lifetime success; awards will tarnish, ribbons will whither. Whether or not the world favors me, I will die: time will run out. But then again, time does not exist: clocks do.




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