The Myth of Money and Success and that of gender
“The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds”
—William James, an American philosopher and psychologist
For a long time, the popular myth of success and that of gender have shaped humans’ minds and behaviors in a certain way. They set up a certain behavior model and provide people with an idealized reference for living their lives. However, people put too much emphasis on the bright side of these two widespread but outdated beliefs, and surround themselves in ideal images constructed by the myths. With humans and society marching on, the age-old and deep-rooted myths are not completely suitable anymore. The old fashioned myths have become certain clichés. They sometimes conceal important social realities and convey a false image of what people really think and do. The dissonance between myth and reality sometimes disillusions people and may bring worse outcomes to the society. Wayne Dyer, an internationally renowned author declares, “What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.” Although part of the myths is still valuable and instructive, in order to make them more tenable, people need to be cautious and critical and be aware of their weakness. Success should be defined not only by wealth and reputation, as the current myth states, but also by personal happiness, which can be achieved through the combination of honesty, hard work, opportunities and smart decisions. The myth of gender should be reframed so that both males and females are able define their own gender roles; both men and women can be breadwinners, wealthy, powerful, nurturing, caretakers. Besides, men are supposed to be more open-minded and friendly, instead of being aggressive and cold-blooded.
Throughout human history, people have always been highly motivated to pursue success. The world is filled with secret formulas for a successful life. The traditional American myth of success is a conception marked by certain individuals and social-cultural conventions. It indicates that honesty and hard work will bring people wealth and good reputation. Besides, on the path to success, people are never constrained by their race, gender or low-income families and they are offered equal chances.
Firstly, the notion of honesty and hard work leading to success is problematic and misleading. The myth can be more reasonable if part of it can be broadened: the integrity of honesty, hard work, right opportunities, and smart decisions will bring people success. One of the failures of the current myth of success is the fact that, although it stays valid for a small group of people, it does not address the realities of...