Minority Opinions

Not everyone can be mainstream, after all.


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I feel moderately successful at this point.  I feel like I will have a house paid for before I retire, and have a reasonable career path.  However, I owe very little of my success to my own hard work.  Yes, I’ve spent tens of thousands of hours programming, and yes, I did enough work during school to earn a degree, but much more of my lifestyle I owe to those who came before:

  • I have always lived in safe neighborhoods.
  • I grew up with a middle-class culture.
  • I was given plenty of food to eat, of a decent variety.
  • My food has often been trucked in from far-flung places.
  • I was provided good shelter and clothing as a child.
  • I attended public schools.
  • I’m still alive due to vaccines and antibiotics.
  • My parents helped me with homework.
  • I was taught problem-solving skills.
  • I was taught to cook, clean, and (to an extent) sew.
  • I grew up in a time and place with computers.
  • I was allowed to play with the family computer.
  • I have always had plenty of books and magazines to read.
  • I have had teachers who made learning fun.
  • I had teachers help me with extra-curricular learning.
  • I have the entire internet at my fingertips.
  • My family and teachers expected and helped me attend a university.
  • My university education was partially subsidized.
  • I have been pointed toward affordable housing.
  • Family loaned me money during a time of need.
  • I have repeatedly been offered great job opportunities.
  • My career relies on the work of the open-source community.
  • I was able to save quite a bit during a double-income period.
  • My utilities and insurance rely on economies of scale.
  • I have accepted advice from neighbors and professionals.
  • I have hired professionals for services that I couldn’t do on my own.

The amount of luck involved in even my level of success is simply astounding.  The number of people who have worked to get me here is staggering.  If I ever claim to have made my own fortune, I expect someone to slap me silly.

There are those who have done more to earn their fortunes than I have.  Even at that, it is impossible for a human to grow up entirely without handouts.


Written by eswald

19 Nov 2013 at 8:57 pm

Posted in Lifestyle

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