Am I on the wrong ladder?

We often hear the phrase ‘climbing the ladder’ in reference to seeking advancement in work, social status, income or power. And it is often presented as an aspiration that is desirable and commendable.

But on reaching 60 years of age, I have found it to be an illusion. Or even a delusion. We reach middle age to discover we have taken a detour for the real destination in life.

I like this quote by Thomas Merton,

People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.

Thomas Merton

I am not anti-ambition nor passive in how I live out my life, but I am strong believer that we need to play the movie forward. We need to project the impact and results of today’s decisions twenty or more years down the track.

We need to consider the price we and others are paying for our dreams and aspirations.

And when we do, sometimes we will surely discover that we are climbing the wrong ladder on the wrong wall.

About Kelley

Kelley is a speaker, author, overseas aid worker and perpetual student. She is passionate about women and gender issues, both in the local and international context, which underpins her enthusiasm for kinwomen and its contribution to women ‘living their finest life’. In 2014 Kelley completed a Masters in International and Community Development before establishing The Foxglove Project. Foxglove is a registered charity focused on supporting international development projects that are sustainable and driven by indigenous leadership. Kelley’s paid work requires her to travel extensively to evaluate and support projects supported by Australian funds. This experience and networking enables Foxglove to partner with outstanding overseas agencies delivering real opportunities for the poor and vulnerable to lead independent self-determined lives. Kelley combines these passions with a love of family and faith. Across more than 30 years of marriage, Kelley and her husband have worked through many of the challenges of building a relationship while raising three sons. Their boys have now finished high school changing the dynamics of family life and relationships. One of her great joys is sharing parenting lessons and learning from good and bad (sometimes disastrous) experiences. She uses humour and common sense to talk about the everyday challenges facing parents in today’s context.