Tattoos on the Heart: Success

1819 words 8 pages
Gregory Boyle begins chapter eight: “Success with a few questions that seem so simplistic at first glance. What is success and what is failure? What is good and what is bad? Setback or progress?” (Boyle 167). Taking a few moments to process these questions, one realizes that the question is quite complex and difficult. Success has such a subjective definition that it can only be defined by the one who answers the question of “what is success to you?” and has no universal definition. Specifically with gang members, success in the context of their lives is about personal growth and less about tangible results. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will …show more content…

Albert Ortega was recently released from prison and says, "I wanted a new way of life.”(Jordan) This statement alone is success. Here is a man wanting to change his life for the better and taking actions to acquire that change. In the context of Albert’s life he was a past criminal and the fact that he wanted better for himself is a major step and major success. Not only did he want more, but he took the initiative and seized the opportunity Homeboy Industries offered him. Just as clay can take many forms, so can success. Whether Albert takes the steps to improve his life through education or a grieving mother’s scream sways gang members from pursuing vengeance; these are both successes in differing forms.
As much as how success can be displayed differently through actions; our own views of these actions influence what form of success we may come to the conclusion of. Homeboy Industries is consistently looking for funders to provide resources and help the nonprofit flourish, but funders tend to fund success that can be measured in quantitative values. What have you done and why should we, the funders, pool our resources into your organization? This is one way to view success, but this view is narrow sighted and fails to see so much more of the bigger picture. This perspective fails to see all the men and women deciding enough is enough and taking steps to better themselves, or the former gang member who wants to better


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