A man I work with and I got into a conversation today about people who've made it. Made it as in made a lot of money somehow, some way. People like Mohamed Al-Fayed, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Sarah Palin, Tiger Woods, and the heirs of the Scotts Paper Towels' and Eastman Kodak fortunes, to name a few.
He's an optimist. He thinks most people are good people, including the people who've made it by making a ton of money.
I'm less of an optimist. I also think most people are good people but I think a lot of people (not all) who've made a lot of money have done it by not being very good people.
While the man I work with praised these people for their ability to see what others can't see, to take risks, to be harder working than other people, he also thinks he's suffered the consequences of some old, very bad karma because he wasn't born rich.
I laughed and said, "Could be." Then went back into my office to work off my own old, bad karma. I sat at my desk putting direct mail pieces together in an effort to get new business.
So that I can get rich, rich, rich!
He turned off his computer, put on his aviator shades, and threw his backpack over his shoulder. I said, "You've inspired me to go for bigger things, R.! I'm an empty nester now, so I've got the time to do it again!"
"Oh, no. That's gonna be tough." He said and then shook his head. "This is a weird time. More for women than men, I think."
R. sort of looks and talks like an old hippie, even though I don't think he's an old hippie. Haven't pegged him yet.
He continued, "It's tougher for women, man. They just sort of lose it! And we're gonna get to watch you go through this!"
I laughed and kept putting my direct mailers together.
"You're gonna be, like, all crazy!" He said, dropping his backpack to the floor, as he bounced both of his hands off the air around his head, while wobbling it back and forth.
And I knew exactly what he meant. Because I've been, like, all crazy for the last couple of years.
I laughed and said, "You won't get to see it! You missed it! I've already been through it, I think. The last two years have been rough. I watched my stepfather die, my business go down the tubes, my family split apart because of this recession, and I've been watching my son walk further and further away for awhile now. It's been horrible. The last couple of weeks, I've been a mess. But, I woke up Tuesday morning, Blue Kid's last day of school, and instead of being sad, I was excited for him. And driving home from work that day, it occurred to me how lucky I am. That kid will be a part of my life and I'll know him and be able to get to know him even better as long as I'm alive."
Rich, rich, rich!
R. looked down at the floor for a minute, picked up his backpack, threw it over his shoulder and said, "Yeah. My daughter just turned 35. I don't know when in the hell that happened, man." He turned and walked out of my office towards the front door and yelled, "Later!" right before the door slammed shut.