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Friday, November 18, 2011

Wallowing in Affluence

I knew a guy who was always broke. Cash poor. Ambition poor. Happiness poor. But he had gallons of piss and vinegar to help him ferment his antipathy for everything that didn't lend him a hand.

I would listen to him tell me what a sad hand life had dealt him all the while he was raising an eyebrow at what he perceived to be my success. I'm not successful to the extent I want to be, but I get up in the morning and try to achieve slightly more than I did yesterday. I miss the mark alot, but when I hit it, its worth it. I've had some really bad jobs that in no way match my utter brilliance and sheer industrial magnificence, but my choice of jobs has never been anyone else's fault but my own. Ditto any other decisions I have made as an adult.

I'm beginning to think I am in the minority on this, but I just can't feel sorry for people who continually make bad decisions and then blame other people for the result.

I was concerned after our subject told me the wolves were pretty much chewing through his front door and that it wouldn't be long before all hope was lost. I went to visit him and we watched some television on his 48" hi-def, but we couldn't talk much because he was constantly getting calls on his cell phone. I waited for him to finish one conversation by surfing the web on his Mac.

But, his life sucked and it was most definitely someone's fault. He took this feeling to his grave, and for that I will always feel a sense of failure -- his and mine.

When I hear someone, whether they are Occupying Wall Street or sitting at a bar, complaining about how unfair life is and how America doesn't offer them anything, I am reminded of the people I have met in my life who have spent their time wallowing in affluence.

Sure the economy is bad. Sure there are crooks in the financial and government sectors. But once you only identify yourself as a member of a group -- Democrat, Conservative, 99%, union guy, or downtrodden malcontent -- you have doomed yourself to a life of jealousy and envy. There will always be a group of people who are better off than you. There will always be individuals who are better off than you as well, but when you begin to identify yourself as "you" and not a part of something, you begin to realize the complete lack of limitations in your path because of the country you live in.

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