2015-11-03 11:03 供稿单位: 新航道 原创作者:新航道
Should people's achievements be judged according to how much they help others?
Capitalism offers us a wonderful way to quantify our achievements. However, with regard to how much “value” we should attach to these achievements, opinions are just diversified. In my view, the best way for us to evaluate individual successes is to look at it from how much degree it helps others, for this is what capitalism lies upon --- the division of labor.
Despite all the important roles assumed by each individual in their successes, any achievements, regardless of their influence on the society or what field in which they are made, should be considered to have been constituted by the joint efforts of the entire society. Thus, in attaching a value to each of these successes, an important criterion should be the degree to which they can contribute to the well-being of the society. For example, Thomas Edison, the man credited with the inventing of the light bulb, owes his success not only to his own hardworking, but also to his predecessors who answered for the calls of the general public with an innovation to replace the stinky kerosene and thus bulldozed a way for Edison’s final feat. In other words, it was those failed attempts that showed Edison the way out. His great achievements should then count as not only a result of his personal pursuit, but also as a positive feedback of the common efforts of generations of scientists, whose achievements are in turn based on that of their own forerunners. Therefore, as we evaluate Thomas’s success, we tend to view it from the extent to which it facilitated the advancement of human civilization, and the extent to which it helped realize the vision set by those forerunners who tried so hard to meet people’s demands.
Perhaps upon seeing this, one might think that the introduction of this standard should not be justified given the achievements made by the athletes, whose contributions to the society may not seem as apparent as that of Thomas Edison, or Isaac Newton. However, if we take a forward-looking approach, we can see these athletes’ contribution as part of a broader scheme --- the society’s joint efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle. It was these athletes that helped spread the idea of competence, of excellence, and of teamwork. Still, their achievements would never have been made without all the sponsors, International Organizations around the world (such as the IOC), and all of those who believed in the role of sport in promoting World Peace.
In fact, with the division of labor gaining momentum, and with a proper social institution put in place, as long as we strive for our own achievements within a legal and moral framework, we are accelerating the pace of human civilization. In this sense, whether we help others with our achievements can be, should be, and will definitely be The Standard.