The Epic Battle Between Gratitude and Ambition


Growing up in religious family you are told every day to be grateful, like “Patrick, gaan bid vir jou seeninge” or “Patrick, you need Jesus in your life”

… and it can become quite frustrating to be told appreciate what you have EVERYDAY.

And don’t get me wrong I am, I’m glad I’m not just another African child who is covered in flies who never seem to have enough to eat. but guys come on it is exasperating!

But what I never understood was that my life outside of my family home, outside my religion, gratitude is seen as a weakness, a emotion that  keeps you from being successful.

Go to school, any sporting event and of course take a look at Media and you’ll see that ambition is virtue prized above all others. You as the inexperienced and poor student should always strive to be more than what you currently are…more richer,  more successful than your neighbors and those that are contend with their lives are seen as fools.

Now realize if I told that you had a few hours left to live, what will you value the most from your life?

Mine? well, it will be the smell of the my first Harry Potter book; Swimming at Gordons Bay with friends and family…fully submerged in water, traveling South Africa with my friends

As you can see what you value the most is not necessarily the materialistic but the experience.

Society tells you to always strife to be more but never tells you when you are successful,

– It tells you rather to buy Jacobs than Ricoffee but doesn’t             tell you to stop and enjoy it.

My solution for this societal cancer is for you, as an individual, to define your own success.


5 thoughts on “The Epic Battle Between Gratitude and Ambition

  1. Society tells us that you are only as successful as your previous attempt, society tells us that you can never have enough in life, society tells us to strive, and strive some more until you cannot strive anymore. It is high time that as people we learn not to be sheep, and not to conform to what society deems as the right thing to do. We just need to learn that life is about our own experiences, and not anyone elses.

    If I were to die in a few hours, I would appreciate the moment that I spent with my famil, the friends that I have met along the way. But most importantly, I’d be forever grateful to those people who hurt me, and taught me that life was not all sunshine and roses, because they have helped me to grow, and to learn to be wise in choosing the right people in my circle.

    Nice blog Pat, I could go on forever responding to each line, niiiice :).


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