You're hired!

Wednesday August 7, 2013

We live in a world where it is sometimes easy to feel that our 'success' is judged by how we earn our daily bread or that our worth is measured by how accomplished our talents are; by whether or not our situation is impecunious, or by how educated we are, formally speaking.

After all, we need only watch an episode of The Apprentice to see that it's perhaps not a humble nature that will get us hired, and that our mumbling: 'Yes, but I have a degree in tenacity/kindness/sensitivity...' would succeed only in an acerbic dressing down from Lord Sweetness himself.

I adore the character Dorothea, in George Elliot's (Mary Ann Evans) Middlemarch and I cherish the final, enviably eloquent words, which poetically disclose what became of this enchanting woman, so integral to the novel. The BBC's adaptation of Middlemarch simplifies the novel's closing words but they are just as beautiful nonetheless: 'And Dorothea? She had no dreams of being praised above other women, feeling that there was always something better which she might have done if she had only been better and known better. Her full nature spent itself in deeds which left no great name on the earth but the effect of her being on those around her was incalculable. For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts and on all those Dorotheas who live faithfully their hidden lives and rest in unvisited tombs.'

Our mere presence, can make the world and the lives of those around us, better and happier. Now that, surely, is true success.

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