The following tweet by my Twitter pal, Frank, is the inspiration for this blogpost:
Funny how a lot of people look at you as successful… Meanwhile, you're totally struggling. May God's grace abound for each and all of us
— Ukpetenan Frank O. (@FrankZephyr1) March 31, 2014
It appears that most people instinctively equate success to riches, and so when a person who has succeeded at a vocation stands, people just expect him or her to ooze money. But I disagree.
The two are distinct and not necessarily proportional to one another. Success and riches are not necessarily tied together. One can exist without the other being present. A man can be rich without having added much value to anyone. Think of thieves, robbers, scammers, and schemers. I understand that some would argue that they have been successful at being rogues. I would hope that such people will understand that we speak of success in terms of gainful engagement, and so rogues wouldn’t qualify.
Also, a man can be successful at his trade or vocation and not be rich. Look at many of our great writers. Consider some of the amazing teachers who have imparted knowledge, skills and wisdom to generation after generation of students and yet have no riches to show for it. Success is NOT necessarily riches, and success does not necessarily translate to riches.
If you find yourself in a similar situation to Frank, maybe you are indeed successful, and so people expect you to be rich. The error is theirs. Your not being rich does not detract from any achievements that you may have. Look again: you really may be a successful person. Just not a rich one.