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Prosperity, By Hendley Badcock


I’m seeing the darker, double-sided nature of prosperity—the counter to all that’s prolific or profitable; the side that breeds imposter syndrome in some, isolation in others. In this city, in these industries, wealth translates to dollar signs.

This is not new. My parents and their generation were groomed to outperform their predecessors, prepared to cross over socioeconomic classes and settle firmly, substantially in polished subdivisions. And they made it.

Yet who was there to coach them in the expansion, the stretching of their internal boundaries to reach new emotional, reflective, and fulfilling potential?

I see my brother follow their footsteps and, yes, inherit the tendencies of all Upstanding Children to try to perform better and to provide more—in part for our parents’ sake. This is the single dimension of prosperity I’m afraid he seeks—working so long, so hard and in an effort to perform this sociological role: provider. And he’s making it. Just like my parents.

However, the prosperity that I wish for, that I wish for them, is neither shallow nor short-sighted. Rather it is as wide as it is true, like a prism casting contagious kaleidoscopic light that expands within the body and soul, casting out in all directions of life. It’s a curious, courageous approach to explore, create, seek, and nurture.

The prosperity that I wish for them is neither material nor monetary. Instead it’s measured in the jublience and ruth of experience. In the warmth of connectivity and the peace of introspection. It’s recorded by the markers of progressing through personal struggle, not professional ranks.

The prosperity I wish for them is neither singular nor flat. In fact, it’s so multifaceted that I’m not sure how to describe it fully—because I haven’t felt it entirely myself. I do know though this elusive state is what I long for each of my loved ones to finally find.