We are a success oriented culture. Success, it seems, is measured in two ways:

  • Name Recognition: My name shows up on search engines, in magazines, newspaper articles, commentaries (positively) or in all settings where people discuss successful people.
  • Financial: My name shows up in all settings where people discuss financially successful people.

I was thinking about this the other day. In relationship to my unorthodoxy, there is a name that jumps out in the world of name recognition above all others. It reflects a life lived prior to news, papers, tv, radio, magazines and commentaries. It is a name that precedes our culture and crosses almost all cultural barriers. Agreed to or not most religions, nations, groups, atheists, politicians, leaders, philosophers, terrorists or whatever know and have at least heard this name. This person was so successful at achieving name recognition that his position at the time of his living certainly stood out above all others and was the center of most general discussion.

If name recognition is your measure of success do not follow his lead. He lived but 33 years, but most of the world recognizes his name, whether to debate his existence, his character, his position and even his reality. He owned nothing, lived off the goodwill of others. He did not hold public office, come from a wealthy family, Generaled a vast army, controlled any one person other than himself. He stood by a simple message. Love One Another. The concept was so radical it led directly to his demise at 33 years of age, in an age of no mass media, on a wooden cross in a rural town in a small country in the middle east.

If you desire to take his place at the top of the name recognition ladder, prepare yourself for an ordeal.

His name was Jesus.