A Successful Human

So many young people come to College Confidential with impressive-sounding resumes and plans for tremendous success in life. Many detail their community service, often extolling their contributions to organizations that they have founded, as they focus in on admissions to Top X schools where they then have plans for lucrative careers.

This article is one of the most heartwarming that I’ve read in a long-time, and I think is great reading for anyone interested in being a successful human: A Farmer Secretly Paid for His Neighbors’ Prescriptions for Years (gifted link should work regardless of your subscription status).

Not only did he anonymously donate at least $100/month for more than 10 years to a local pharmacy for customers who didn’t have enough money for their prescriptions, but he also carried his wife up bleachers so she could watch football games when she could no longer make it up the bleachers herself and shared crops from his garden with the community. He was not successful because he had the financial means to give money, but because he was kind and thoughtful and did what he could to help other people, without trying to make it all about him.

There’s nothing wrong with having a 7-figure portfolio or having an impressive job title or degree on the wall (whether one is 17 or 77). But when you’re gone (whether you move or you pass away), will anyone have been better because they knew you or because of something you’ve done? All I will say is that I have no idea where, or if, Mr. Childress (the man in the article) went to college. But his genuine kindness has impressed me far more than any tech CEO/phenom or investment banker. Whether one goes to Harvard or goes to community college and then their local state college of no renown, what matters is what kind of a person you are and not the institution’s name on the diploma. And that is what will make you a successful human.


Thanks for gifting this article. I will remember his story.

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This was on several news stations within the past week or so. A very private, but generous man. Even his kids didn’t really know what he was doing. Usually, and I’m generalizing, people who donate like this, at one point struggled financially, either as younger adults, or as young children in large families.

I worry about all of these entitled Junior Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos’ wannabes who just don’t give a rat’s tail about the community around them.

I am hopeful, however, that they are more Hody Childress people out there, doing things on their own, for others.

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A few years ago I was working at a school where a student accidentally threw away her retainer at lunch and didn’t realize it until much later. After school another middle schooler joined her in the dumpster, digging through until they found the retainer.

When kids are willing to literally dumpster dive to help a classmate, I definitely still have hope for our future. That particular kid is now at a community college. There are great humans at all kinds of places.