To the Western mind.
Always must preface my thoughts with that disclaimer.
For sometimes my thinking seems so un-Western. Or un-modern? Un-something.
So abstract and non-linear and fully un-left brainlike.
To the Western mind.
A drive, a longing, which describes a state of a sense of responsibility and longing for all things material and tangible and where “success” is proven by such clutter in one’s life.
Spoken of in awed tones.
In breathless utterances of prized conveyances.
He is so ambitious!
She is such an ambitious woman!
Ambition gets you what you want.
Ambition, the drive to reap rewards and the drive to work hard and the drive to direct all one’s energies at that which is solid and profitable and assembled with the intent purpose of procuring.
Procuring goods, procuring prestige, procuring power.
It’s all about power.
Money is power.
Status is power.
Power is good.
Power is the Western idea of Nirvana.
I thought of an analogy today after reading Sofia’s anti-ambition proclamation.
Ambition…is drive for power.
In most instances.
Have you heard that dietitians and nutritions advise clients that hunger is often merely disguised thirst? If you’re hungry, try drinking a glass of water. Hunger is simply your mind’s expression of an inability to recognize or untrained response to thirst. Get something down the gullet, your body tells you, but you substitute the signal for “hunger.”
I think ambition, the majority of the time in our society, is a thinly disguised lust for power.
Assuming an absolutely egalitarian society in which the idea of power and superiority do not exist, what motive is there for ambition? The capitalists and free-marketers win the circular argument.
Ambition can take many forms but in the materialistic Western ideal, it is the expression of the urge to multiply and expand fixed resources.
Never mind that ambition, in the dictionary sense, is a neutrally valued trait which only describes one’s reach for excellence.
Excellence need not be profitable or monetary. Does it?
Must excellence result in glittery items by default?
I question the ambition matrix.
Why must I justify our cultural cynicism in the face of my undriven ass?
Ambition is also gender-laden.
Easier for Sofia to say she is unambitious because in our mind she has the capability of hooking up with an ambitious (and traditionally) male mind thus satisfying and enabling her passive materialistic constraints.
Men, we are told, are ambitious.
But once again, the ambition and competitiveness framed only in the context of career, belongings, toys, balance sheets…
Those of us with sparse and minimalist definitions of ambition are left…