Archive for January, 2013


January 28, 2013 Leave a comment


Almost all of us imagine what it would have been like if we’d been born to a wealthy couple. From the outside, it seems like there is no down side to life in a wealthy family, but I’m sure there is. One so often learns of sons and daughters in wealthy families struggling with serious problems of some kind, it seems to go with the socioeconomic situation. It’s not inevitable, of course, but it seems to happen more frequently than among our average, middle-class families.

 Imagine life had you been born into a mid-level wealthy family. Not the super-rich that own hotel chains or auto corporations, just the families that own a few factories, a small chain of retail outlets or a couple of shopping centres. You’re in high school, and you’re being pressed to choose a direction for your education. Should you be a business major? Should you be a corporate lawyer? Should you train for a career in publishing? The pressure probably mounts as graduation into higher education draws near.

 It can be seen as an admirable situation in which to find one’s self. The world is your oyster, and you have a multitude of alternatives. Your choice? Let’s say you want to be a comedian: Outrageous! You long to be a forest ranger: Oh, please! You want to build homes with walls of old bottles: You’re sick! You want to be an artist: You’ll starve!

 One is likely to have a less negative response in an average or working-class family. It’s almost as if there’s really nothing to lose, so why not go for your desired destiny? It doesn’t really matter what one does to get through life, because in the end, it’s finally through. The individual liberty and open possibilities that an average family affords is not always there for the “better off” young people.

 There are some expectations of young men and women from families of wealth and power that are not suffered by the rest of us. They must have the burden of letting down the family, or the family reputation. Perhaps one simply does not have the smarts to manage the 43 stores, and no amount of education us going to make her smarter. Perhaps the young man is determined to be a race car driver or a blues guitarist… the family would probably be the strongest barrier.

 We each get just one life, and we should have the right to live it as we choose, rich or poor. The most difficult step is to make sure that what one thinks one wants is also what one really wants. It’s a shame to spend our one-and-only life following an erroneous path.

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January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

My shameful indifference to the commercials from Christian Children’s Fund, the Leprosy Foundation, etc. stems from my ignorance.

(1) Having my entertainment interrupted by the tragic, depressing images of the destitute that are thrust into my relaxing time is irritating. I know, I know… they are in desperate straits – to be honest, that does nothing to stop the message from being depressing. Of course I’d like to solve all their problems with one amazing resource – if I had one.

(2) I don’t believe them – the commercials and the organizations they represent. I see those commercials so %&3#@! often, I have had plenty of time to peruse them carefully. I made about a hundred commercials during my decades as a Pufferatier, puffing up clients’ claims and images. I might see things in those commercials that a non-professional might not see. Oh, I don’t mean that these are out and out thieves. Of course not. I’m sure they do much good for the tragically needy – at what cost? If I was able to send them ten million dollars (there are people who could, and perhaps should) how much of it would get into little swollen tummies and disease infected limbs? I couldn’t guess. It should be about $9 million but I’ll bet administrative costs eat up plenty of it in salaries, travel, research, entertainment, etc.

(3) This is the most ignorant part of my rant: Why do they even need our help? We have scratched a comparatively successful society out of what one would think is a much less hospitable environment. Half a year of fierce cold and snow, some places have rocky land that can’t be cultivated, I could mention a dozen negative characteristics about our land. I can’t help but wonder why they haven’t outstripped us in most everything. They have as much space as we have. They don’t have the punishing climate, they have meat on the hoof in the billions, diamonds and gold in the ground, and a climate that should invite a vast variety of crops. So you see, I admit to my ignorance, ’cause the situation makes no sense to me. Why do they need our meagre resources when they have much of their own?

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