September 27, 2013

My greatest stroke of luck

I am so glad I wasn't born to a rich family. I'm thankful that I went out into the world on my own -- to succeed or fail without help from anyone. Parachutes don't build character; real life experiences do.

The bubble that surrounds every extremely well-off person frightens me to death. It "protects" them from reality, from people, from learning about life. They may thank their lucky stars for the hand that fate dealt them, but I thank mine.

It's good to try something, to go out on that high-wire and see if you can make it to the other side. It's rewarding to test your strengths and try to avoid the pitfalls of your weaknesses. It's good to learn from failure and gain confidence from success.

To me, this seems more meaningful than coasting through life on an eternal shopping trip. Bringing all that loot home and playing with it might while away a few hours. But it leaves nothing in its wake but emptiness. I don't want that sort of a life. It's too hollow. I want sustenance, not reassurance.

I lived. I did what I wanted to do and was lucky enough to experience success on several fronts. And as a direct result of living my life this way, I ended up being a very satisfied human being. Like anyone, I have regrets -- but they're not big ones. Mostly what I have is happiness, my own kind of happiness, a strain I basically invented while living my life. And it rewards me every day.

I don't regret my humble beginnings; I treasure them. And I feel sorry for rich people who never had the opportunities I had -- because they were "protected" by their money. It's like a closet they never stepped out of. An empty life like that makes me shudder.

I really lucked out. I hope you did, too.