The killer success: sad story of an useless sacrifice
As my worst summer ever is turning towards the fall, I am getting more and more upset and disappointed with anything. I’d attribute some of my bad feelings to huge and non-stop doses of harsh medications, but that certainly does not change a thing. I feel like everything that was worthy and uplifting has turned its back to me.
Since I had plenty of time to waste while resting on a couch or rather trying to forget about pain and other unpleasant things, I could watch some TV. I usually don’t do that, but even computer has become not that easy to use, so, I had very little choice. The TV we have is Rogers TV, I mean Rogers is the provider. It is a kind of TV for people who most likely forget immediately what they were watching the day before. Everything is repeats and old movies. The few non-repeats are some reality shows and news. I cannot currently take any more news because it’s all Trump and Clinton. Again, again and again. This is even Canada, not the USA, but still every single word of their mouth is getting analyzed and discussed, and I have to admit I’m so sick of this that I’m changing the channel right away when I hear mentioning Trump or Clinton.
I cannot take any of the reality shows either because it feels like they are created for somebody dumb and underdeveloped. Just seeing the housewives for 2 minutes causes me to really wish I didn’t even look at them. What exactly is this about: some younger and older women with way too much make-up are boozing, partying and talking behind the back of the one that isn’t present? They sometimes fight and argue. What a great show! Really? It seems they have money and do not know what to do with it and therefore they need now popularity and TV presence. Just awful. There is lots of stuff about food, a lot. My medication causes nausea, so I have to skip those. Then there are talk shows which most often handle the same subject. I cannot take any celebrities and stars either because I think it’s so much overblown with these trending stars, and they would go on and on how beautiful they are when, in fact, quite a few are neither beautiful, nor elegant, nor good-looking. Take away all these treatments, make-ups, fancy outfits and crew of image makers and all you get is some completely average person. I also calculated that as per my recent income I would have to work for 250 years spending nothing in order to make what these stars make in just one year. It feels like there is something profoundly wrong.
So, I turned to reading online magazines in Latvian, hence there is a bit different stuff and not only celebrity scandals, politics and greed.
The article was about a woman who I remember quite well. She was just 1 year older than me and quite visible personality in Latvia between 1988 and 2002. She had just passed away a few days ago. There is nothing unusual about people getting really sick after spending the most part of their life in a show business. The unusual part was her character and her image of an iron lady. She was somebody always going against the stream, but the way she did it was not that nice, indeed. As the organizer of the first Latvian beauty pageant in 1988 and later the owner of the entire beauty contest business in Latvia, she had to turn to lots of people in order to have financial means to go ahead with these beauty contests. She handled that excellently being quite rude, always speaking her mind and never looking for an answer when attacked or provoked. Over the course of many years, this lady had spit in faces of many people, humiliated them, and eventually taken advantage of their not that splendid situations. We could call this even black mailing. Although, she became financially very successful thanks to donations of freshly baked Latvian millionaires, she went as far as to kick out her mother of the family house they had in Riga, the capital city of Latvia. She put her own mother who had and still has a very good health and could take decent care about herself into an old folk’s home. Her mother didn’t complain, but she certainly felt betrayed and not deserving such a treatment.
This lady never managed to have a long-lasting family, but she had 4 husbands, and the last one was 30 years younger than her and she married him at the age of 52 when the signs of the stormy youth years started to remind that one cannot booze for ever and it will result in some disorders and illnesses. She told she did not want any children because they would disturb her business. Parties before and after beauty contests and other events involved a lot of drinking. That was some kind of never ending partying.
One early morning being half awake and completely drunk, this woman accidentally drove onto the side-walk where people were waiting for the bus. There were quite a few injured and one woman died on spot. The accident caused injuries to her, as well, but she managed to cure most of them for a while. The following trial found her as a very well-known woman with lots of useful connections not guilty in most counts. She only got 4 years in probation, and the society of Latvia couldn’t agree with such a court decision. However, time washes away everything, and the accident was forgotten by most, but never by the family of the deceased woman.
The objects of her stormy love affairs were quite often married men. When asked once why she was causing all these troubles to so many families, she clearly stated that the other women were no competition to her, and the only purpose of these affairs was to prove how much above the others she was and that she could always get whatever she wanted. The following years proved her wrong and, most likely, she had to learn the hard way that nobody of us is able to build our happiness by destroying other people’s lives.
Her health worsened to quite a great extent during the last five years, and she obviously could not continue to shine in public events being on crutches and later in a wheelchair, hence, the after effects of that bad accident which took one woman’s life and made a few others disabled did not pass her either.
The circle of well-situated and famous friends shrank rapidly. Nobody was interested in a completely disabled aging woman who never cared about anybody else, but only about her own success and prestige. In fact, she was in a lot of pain, but suffered very lonely, even her mother was in the old folk’s home and could not visit her.
So, she had passed away on the floor of her almost empty bedroom. Alone, with nobody praying for her and nobody crying after her. Next to her, was found a packed bag because she had decided to also move to a shelter for disabled people. This decision came a bit late.
The only person who took some care about this once so famous lady was a middle-aged neighbor. This neighbor said she had changed extremely during the last half of year. The reason was the clinical death at the hospital she had gone through. It is possible she had faced some warning signs or something that was awaiting her after the death because she had asked to bring her mother to her and also to send letters asking for forgiveness many people who she once had betrayed or offended. Mother came; she is 89 now, but still having a fairly good health. The only thing this woman told her mother was: I wish you could take me on your lap and forgive me all pain I have caused you. I wish I could start my life from new, but this is where it ends. The mother forgave her, and I suppose, she can finally rest in peace.
This made me think: there is success and there is success at any price which demands one to lose all human feelings and to walk over corpses and destroyed lives. One should really carefully watch for signs when success turns against them and eventually becomes the killer. The killer of their human nature and later the killer of their health, wealth and anything which makes this life worth living. The question is: how far should one go in order to be successful and how much should one sacrifice in the name of success? Doesn’t the success at any price become a lost battle for anybody involved? The ugly side of success means sacrificing everything, even one’s life.