This is something that has bothered me in life.
It seems whenever you talk about successful people, it’s always linked to money. Even when it isn’t directly about somebody becoming rich (i.e. a successful businessman) and their success might be based in a particular field, such as singing or acting etc. the success is always in some way linked to becoming rich. If somebody was a great singer but didn’t make any money out of it, they would not be considered successful. Being a successful singer goes hand in hand with having made a lot of money in that profession/field.
It’s a shame to me that this has become the definition of success. It’s hard to think of any field where being called a successful person isn’t linked to somehow being financially well off because of it. Perhaps Christianity could be one of the few examples where for instance, being a successful priest meant that priest might have converted a lot of people and not necessarily had any financial gain out of it, but even then, I don’t think people really refer to them as a successful priest.
This idea of success = money is highly problematic for a Christian, because the amount of money you have should most certainly not be the yardstick of how well you have lived your life, but almost everywhere you turn, that seems to be the message delivered. This is also one area I am particularly glad the Pope touches on a lot, about how consumerism, financial inequality and capitalism (of some types at least) are major issues.