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San Clemente, CA, United States

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Less is more

The older I get, the more successful people I meet.  Every stinking one of them is a self made man or woman.  I have yet to meet anyone of wealth and success that simply inherited their fortune.  I know they exist, I just haven't encountered any.  Every successful person I know is a self made man or woman.

I tutored a girl whose parents were a mess (drugs, alcohol) and was being raised by her grandfather.  He lives in 7000 square feet RIGHT on the water in Dana Point, CA.  He's an entertainment lawyer who grew up the son of a janitor.  He put himself through school and law school and became the man that he is.  I have friends that are doctors, business men, teachers, firefighters and a bunch of other professions and as I get to know them better, I am overcome with the belief that parents should give their kids almost nothing. 

My great take-away from knowing these men and women who became successful is that they became successful because they overcame adversity.  I think they may NOT have achieved what they have achieved if someone had given them help.  It's risky, but parents should not give their kids anything.

I know that I live in an affluent community in Southern California but the way parents are handing their kids everything is a disaster.  I have students who have had new cellphones every few months.  They break them, lose them, want the latest technology or whatever.  Whatever they want they seem to have. I have students whose first car is a new BMW.  Are you kidding me?  What does the kid have to look forward to?  They treat "their" belongings poorly because they never worked to get them.

My first car was a 1969 VW Bug.  This was way before it was cool to have a 1969 VW Bug.  This was 1979 and I had worked pretty hard to save the money to buy it.  Can't remember the price but I bet I worked for 18 months saving money.  I had a newspaper route in a giant apartment complex and I delivered the morning paper every day.  I also worked 20 hrs a week after school at McDonald's.

I had crappy cars all my life.   As I think back my  78 Chevy Impala, 82 Honda Civic, 84 F150 Truck,  were all used when I got them.  I remember buying my first brand new car.   I was 42.  Now I have a great car.  2008 Honda S2000.  EVERY DAY when i get into "the rocket", I smile a bit.  I'm proud of where I've come given where I've been.

When we give, we take something away from people.  We take away a pretty important life lesson.  

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