The Gensler Group Awards Coronado High School Senior, Gennifer Lawren $1,000 Scholarship

Is Money The Measure of Success? This is the question answered by Gennifer Lawren, winner of this year’s Gensler Group Essay Contest and $1,000 Scholarship to UCSD. Gennifer was chosen from 79 applicants judged on best composition based on originality, thesis statement, structure and introspection.

Congratulation’s Gennifer Lawren, we wish you much success! Here is her winning essay;

Success is an ambiguous phrase One that should remain subjective.
Money leaves us in a daze.
Always skewing our perspective.
Is money the measure of success?

An apartment, a house, a mansion Does it really matter?
Often blinded by expansion,
Climbing up the social ladder
Is money the measure of success?

Money is material, nothing more
While envy, greed, and pride
They’re left to settle the score
With Sins manifesting alongside,
Is money the measure of success?

A newborn saved, a laugh shared,
A complex built, a student taught,
Life is completely undeclared
Goals should be the food for thought
Money isn’t the measure of success.

Like the wind, money comes and goes
We find our own measure of success, I suppose.

I love the classic flow of poetry because several concepts can be conveyed in fewer words. Readers can attempt to understand the poet’s intentions or choose to draw their own intrinsic meaning from the lines.

There’s something beautiful about the simplistic, yet sophisticated structure of a poem. As a dancer, I hoped to communicate my response through an artistic means. Thus, I felt like this was the best way to parallel my answer to the complex question, “Is money the measure of success?”

I appreciate the depth of this query and when I first read the prompt, it reminded me of the quote by Saint Augustine, “The measure of love is to love without measure.” A chiasmus or a paradox, as unreasonable as they are, can be the most efficient means of defining such a complicated concept. Maybe the same prospect applies to this question as well.

The measure of success is success without measure. Success is not something that should be measured because it just isn’t a measurable attribute. I believe success is entirely subjective and the “measure” of it can’t be compared amongst individuals. Thus, if a measure cannot be comparable to anything, there is no measure. I feel like if one gets caught up in issues associated with money, they will forget to enjoy their life. Sometimes money can accompany success, but this generally isn’t the ultimate goal. We should be able to define our own success and look back on our accomplishments with satisfaction, not regret.

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