The word is Success. Is any one word more desired, more fraught with meaning or more elusive to the majority of mankind? What exactly is success? How does one achieve it? How can one retain it? These questions have interested, and troubled, mankind for centuries. Suffice it to say that there are as many different answers to these questions as there are people asking them.
One definition of success is money or possessions. Material wealth has always been used by society both as a measuring stick and a barrier. This condition persists to this day. In fact, some may argue that at no time in history has materiality been as important as in modern day America. Whether or not this is true is beside the point. What is true is that the cult of "things" is an ingrained way for we, as humans, to judge and categorize strangers and acquaintances. Even more, it is one of the main way we judge ourselves.
The problem with using wealth as a definition of success is that wealth is not always a true indicator. There a great many people who possess enough, and more than enough, physical possession but are morally or spiritually unsuccessful. One only needs to look at Orson Welles stellar performance as Charles Foster Kane, in the classic film "Citizen Kane", to see a perfect example of this phenomenon.
Kane is a man who has every material thing he could desire. He is rich, He is powerful. He can, and does, make and break lives. Yet, at the moment of his death, what is the one thing he remembers? A simple wooden sled from his childhood. A sled that his parents gave him. A sled that represents the unconditional love that has always eluded him and which no amount of money could ever buy.
An interesting example there. Perhaps wealth is, at best, an inaccurate indicator of true success. Perhaps, true success means something simultaneously much cheaper and much more precious.