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.