The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Better Than What?

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I have read some of my bloggy friends their responses to a post which begs the question Hey, Ph.D.s, are you better off than your parent(s)?.

I don't have a Ph.D, I have a J.D. which some would argue is inferior to the mighty Ph.D, but whatever. What I think it is that we have this hope that reaching the pinnacle of academic success that we are somehow "better off" than those that proceeded us. I think people hope that we are better off than the previous generation in the hopes that future generations have something to hope for and aspire.  If people went around saying "Don't bother getting that advanced degree because life is going to suck anyway, we wouldn't have as many brilliant minds out there are we do now.

I think we have to define what is "success". Does success mean that you make X amount of dollars? Does it mean that you "have" things? Does it mean that your are accomplished?

And, what does it mean to be "better off"? As opposed to what? We all have our struggles, regardless of what generation we are lumped into.  Did the Baby Boomers have it better off than those who survived the Great Depression? Did Gen X'ers have it better than the Baby Boomers? Each group has it's own issues and struggles that define that generation. To say one is better off is like asking someone if they would rather be deaf or blind,

What I am saying is that I think we make assumptions that because one reaches a certain level of educational, professional or financial accomplishment, somehow that makes them successful. On its face, that is true. We should not diminish one's accomplishments. But, does having the degrees, titles and money really make one who they are? Does mean that one does not continue to struggle?  Doesn't it lead to assumptions by the rest of the world? If I hear one more person say "Oh, you have a law degree, so you must be rolling in money..."

Everyone has their successes and struggles. How we define success is what matters. How we use that success dictates how well off one is.


rented life said...

spot on. My friend's don't want my life, and I don't want theirs. Sometimes I feel sucessful and sometimes I don't. Others think I am, others think I'm not. All the context is missing when we compare across generations, and we end up placing values onto people that they might not share.

Natalia said...

Hi There,

My name is Natalia and I’m the Community Coordinator for an online health community called WEGO Health ( I came across your blog, while doing some research into the online RA community. I was so impressed the great resource you have created for the greater RA community.

Just wanted to drop you a quick note because we recently launched a new video platform called and are in the process of building a RA Channel featuring the advice, information and wisdom of Health Activists like yourself. I think you would be an excellent addition to the channel and I would love to chat with you about possibly creating a video with us!

Please check out our site; and get back to me at your convenience if you have any interest.

I know this note it a little out of the blue and I understand if it’s not something you would be interested in, but I didn’t want you to miss out on the opportunity.


Community Coordinator
WEGO Health

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