Thursday, December 11, 2008

Different Starting Points In Life

In the struggle to put as much distance between hardship and ourselves we all have different starting points — starting points we can not choose for ourselves.

Our parents are responsible for putting us on the field and to impart into us a good game plan. Then, we take the ball and run with it. There is no guarantee being put one yard from the opponent's end-zone means you are going to get a touchdown or even a score and so too with life. Just because you have all sorts of advantages and a good starting position does not mean you will improve your position, in fact it is easy to see a diminishment of position.

Do not take this to mean we have no affect on our success, we do, it depends on the quality of our character and drive. Both of those factors are, however, greatly influenced by others, namely parents and other mentors and by those we surround ourselves with. There is the old saying that it is hard to soar like an eagle when surrounded by (domestic) turkeys is not just for t-shirts there is a fair amount of truth to it. Similarly, when we surround ourselves (or are surrounded by) with smart & capable people our abilities carry us farther.

In societies that recognize and value liberty, people become much more responsible for their own success & welfare. We are free to form and break associations with others and we earn more credit for our successes and demerit for our failures than in societies that do not value liberty, as well as it being harder to form and break associations. However, the fact we may earn a lot more credit or discredit does not mean we are all self-built and start from scratch.

We constantly count on the support of others around us, whether we are attempting to get a mini-mart going in a rundown neighborhood or trying to get a $25 billion corporation to change its ways. In both instances the person involved may think they are self-made with no contributions from anyone else, but that is not the case and it does not diminish one's accomplishments to recognize that fact.