Success depends on personal application

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Another school season has arrived. As with every year, teary-eyed parents will stand-by as their babies prepare to take-on some level of academia, whether that is spelled kindergarten or Ph.D.

The smallest of youngsters will make their first steps into a world of exploration, creativity, intellectual development, social development and being influenced by an adult called teacher.

Older students are on the homestretch of their academic careers, anticipating being handed that document that proclaims they have taken on a major task and completed it.

With schooling comes not only academic training, but an opportunity to explore and plan ones future. Trying on different hats with each subject, rotating interests with new discoveries and ultimately asking, “What should I be when I grow up?”

Most of those teary-eyed parents will share their children’s aspirations. Some will wonder, perhaps more than in the past, if achieving goals will still be a realistic ideal when their little ones have tots of their own to prepare for school.

According to a Rasmussen Reports survey conducted in July, 65 percent of American adults do not expect today’s children to be better off than their parents.

We realize times have changed. Economic advancements and prosperity that turned the world on its ear in the 1950s became the standard by which baby boomers measured their own expectations of success.

Some individuals of generations since then made it to that classic comfort level of what became a model of the American dream. Some did not.

We all want to be successful. However, sometimes ideals, circumstances or just the hard knocks of life leave us wondering if the brass ring could ever be reached.

Others miss out on genuine success, because although they have material goods, they fail to appreciate what has been offered to them.

Any number of reasons could be offered as to why it seems so difficult to make ends meet compared to years ago. Those reasons, as disappointing as they might seem, fail to hit as hard as any attitude of defeat.

Many Americans built success from challenges of a degree most of us will never know. Hardship made them recognize opportunity.

Those who truly succeed do so because they refuse to measure themselves by another’s standard. They define success for themselves.

We believe our children still have an opportunity to have it better than we do. The first lesson needed at school and in the home is not to measure success by what one has, but by whom one is.