From ancient times, people have always felt a need to set themselves apart from others in the community in which they live. More often than not, this competitive desire takes the shape of acquiring material things to symbolize one’s success. These “success symbols” come in different shapes and sizes. Common examples include houses, cars, watches, jewelry, designer clothing, having children at private schools, shopping in Dubai and owning a dog. Even having a nanny have also emerged as a symbol of success in today’s modern society. However, our focus today is on the car – an automobile, a mode of transportation that has been hijacked by advertisers and insecure people as the ultimate symbol of success. History conveys owning a horse back in ancient times was the same as owning a car today; if you were an equestrian, it meant you were successful. Despite the fact that humans have evolved through the centuries, there is still a primitive mindset in today’s society of what symbolizes real success. 

 

Some people will never cease to associate owning a car with being successful. They’ll make you feel like an alien and a complete failure for not having one. They look at you with pity and whisper among themselves whenever you arrive at work, functions or events in a taxi. Well, you have two choices, you can sign up for the competition or run your own race even if it’s on foot. Your time is coming! A car is a false symbol of success. It is just an effective means of advertising that has fetch billions of dollars for the automobile industry.
Not everyone driving a car is successful. Not everyone driving a car sleeps at night. Some of the cars are owned by people who cannot afford just to impress those who don’t care. Most of the cars are owned by banks. “Modern slaves are not in chains but in debts” Don’t be intimidated by little minds. You are on a course bigger than a car and not having one now doesn’t mean you won’t ever have one. History makers are not car owners but dream owners. Have this in mind, “what drives you is far more important than what you drive”

 

I am in no way against owning a car or having material things. The issue here is your mindset around those things and how you treat/view those who don’t have what you have. It is outrageous to respect one person simply on the basis of owning a car and disrespect another on the basis of not owning a car. When success is attached only to material things, we are simply encouraging a culture of consumerism. It’s all about buy, buy, buy and buy some more. Buying more stuff serves only as a distraction from looking inward and facing the emptiness that so many people are feeling today. People aren’t fulfilled, a piece of them is missing, but things do not change until they reach a breaking point or the suffering becomes impossible to avoid and when there’s nothing left than to face it, then they can either change or break. 

 

Sadly, the Black Community is the epitome of this consumer culture. You could be drowning in debts, behind in your bills, unable to provide for your family, etc but as long as you drive a car, the Black Community will celebrate and even envy you as a success! 

 

In conclusion, what matter in life are the connections we have, the value we give to others, and the experiences we have. As cheesy as this may sound but it is the truth. At the end of it all, nobody will remember the clothes you wore, the car you drove, the neighborhood you lived in, your designer handbags and weaves, your long nails, your rolex watch, your fine house etc. People will only remember how you made them feel. The lives you touch and the impact you have on others is all that really matter. “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” Horace Mann.
By Nicky Verd
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