Success and Truth

authenticsign Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

By what standard is success judged? Are we truly successful when we have a lot of money stored in an account somewhere drawing interest until the day we are on our deathbed and then realise that we did not do a single bit of good with said money? Ask the richest in the world if their money has truly made them happy, and I am sure that they will tell you quite the converse.

Is success to be judged by how popular or noticeable we are? Do you think that Michael Jackson felt happy constantly being hounded by the press and finding it impossible to have a moment’s worth of normalcy since the age of five? That type of life, I am sure one would find, is instead filled with simultaneously a lack of privacy and also a deep sense of loneliness.

And why, too, do we feel a need to conform? Is it a fear of being judged negatively? Or, perhaps one of being persecuted for saying what we truly feel? Is the responsibility of being who we truly are so great that we cannot shoulder it, and instead feel that projecting a superficial persona and masking an intense sadness brought about by an unfulfilled life would be more desirable? Which would be easier to deal with, the responsibility of being authentic, or the shame of being a fake? And if insecurity is what drives the fear, isn’t there more security in standing in the strength of who one truly is rather than hiding behind a wall of weakness associated with avoiding the same?

King’s words ring ever more true today, on his true birthday, as they did nearly 37 years ago. His was a life of recognising his duty, speaking truth without fear of persecution and without desire for ego gratification. In other words, one that was a true success.

Today marked a solar eclipse. Eclipses in astrology are like portals, and we are on the threshold of very powerful change indeed. As this is his birthday, the eclipse was very closely conjunct his natal sun. What he brought to light is being guided to greater clarity and realisation, and his words and vision call to us through the gateway of time asking us to heed them ever more deeply.

If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.

Martin Luther King, Jr., speech, Detroit, Michigan, June 23, 1963

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