If you happen to be one of those people who goes through life making decisions about the dogs you’ve considered buying and they always hunted you probably believe it’s because you’ve been wise and prudent. Or purely from ‘hard work’. It’s certainly tempting for the person with that body of experience to believe it’s true, and maybe it is.
Who the hell wants to believe, having spent his life scrambling with the only goal being ending up eventually with more money than you can spend, that it was because it’s just how it went? That successfully accumulating a lot of money through a lifetime isn’t a hell of a lot different from just inheriting money? That when the kids inherit what you accumulated but didn’t spend, the only favor you did them was giving them a leg up to being dirty rich kids turned adult? Robbed them of the experience of scrambling and making the hard decisions and compromises you made, learned from, and consider vital to your life?
Alternatively, for people who muddle along staying in the middle of the bell shaped curve, or those who buy dogs that didn’t hunt tend to blame it on someone else, or outside factors. The government, rich people, or just lousy luck.
Seems to me the problem with all this is the measuring stick, and it’s a disease of modern life. Something we condition ourselves to early and never do enough thinking about to examine carefully. So we fret about whether the chips on the table are $1 chips, or $100 ones and let the place they occupy on the value system influence whether we stay, or raise, nevermind the cards we’re holding.
I’m writing this because the game I’m in at the moment seems to be a high stakes one where I’m sitting. People nearby ain’t saying so, but they believe I’m a damned fool for the buying the Toyota RV, believing what the guy who sold it to me told me about it, not knowing enough to assure it was the truth.
I’m not denying it’s true. I thought the guy was honest and maybe he was. He never checked a lot of it out because the guy who sold it to him was a good Christian in his church and he believed what he’d been told.
So I borrowed the money to buy it from a close friend and I’ll be paying him back for a longish time at $100 per month, whether that RV is in a junk yard, or has the coach stripped off and is earning its keep as a hauling cargo vehicle. The buck stops here. I’m not going to lie or misrepresent what that truck is and put some other poor bastard into the same position I’m in. I’ll junk it first and swallow the loss, screw all the yardsticks.
So now I’ve got another RV staring me in the face, all my mistrusting sense organs fired up from the last time I trusted anyone. Stakes being roughly the same as before, but seeming higher because I borrowed money from another friend I’m going to be paying back $100 per month for a couple of years, win, lose, or draw.
And knowing no matter how much checking I do, how clever I try to be, there’s a better-than-even chance the guy’s lying about something important I won’t be smart enough to catch. Or maybe he’s telling the truth and buying the thing will be the smartest thing I ever did.
Either way, I’ll still be the damned fool I was before, the only difference being whether I think I was smart, or blame the government, or rich people, or Lady Luck.
Hell of a deal.