The True Measure of Success

The young man returns home after years of dedicated work. He has made quite a mark on the world, found fortune and glory, and wants to return to proud parents and a familiar location.

As he walks up the drive to the old family homestead, the solitary figure of his father is waiting on the porch. The son approaches, expecting a heartfelt welcome after so many years of being away. He imagines his father beaming with pride, listing the son’s many accomplishments, because he surely kept track of them.

But he would receive no such reception.

His father looks him over, examining the well-tailored clothes and fancy accessories; the trappings of success. Then he looks up at his son’s face. Despite all his achievements, he can still only sport a few small patches of fuzzy hair on his still-youthful face.

“Well son, I’m glad you’re back. I see you’ve done a lot while you were away.” The father said in a flat voice. Then, as he stroked the thick carpet of whiskers on his chin, he said exactly what his son hoped he wouldn’t.

“But remember, you’re not really a man until you can grow a beard like your father’s.”