How Lucky Are You?

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I calculate that I am among the luckiest 2% of humans who have ever lived. Check this list and see where you stack up.

  1. I have always had food, a decent apartment, and a comfortable bed. How many can say that?
  2. I have never been physically abused or traumatized, at least not that I can remember.
  3. I get paid for doing something (writing) that I love to do.
  4. By world historical standards, I’m super rich. I’m a middle-class person in a rich country, of a relatively privileged appearance and gender. I get support from Social Security. Our technology and standard of living is so far above what even royalty had 100 years ago that no one from back then cracks the top 2%.
  5. I can see movies from around the world, hear music from around the world, read books and essays from around the world. How fortunate to have access to all this wonderful stuff that, not long ago, would have required a lifetime of travel and a top 1% level of expense. If there even was such a thing as Bhutanese cinema back then.
  6. Ordinary people travel more than the elites of the past could have dreamed. Travel isn’t a big turn-on for me, but it’s been great to have it available when I need or want to.
  7. And then, I live in San Francisco, where the whole world comes anyway. I don’t have to go to them; they come to me. In my city, the food of the world is available any time I want it. There are not one, but tens of cultural events almost every day.

    Parade in San Francisco

    Parade in San Francisco

  8. The Bay area also seems immune to global warming. It’s still always in the 50s and 60s here in summer, while most other places are burning up. Don’t know how long that will last, but it’s always comfortable where I live, though more sunshine feel good.

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6 Responses to How Lucky Are You?

  1. Flo Kelly says:

    Right on. I love your list. It is important for all of us to make our list of the lucky aspects of our lives; as you say, the things we didn’t make happen, but there they are–in place, waiting for us to recognize and appreciate them.

  2. Dev Rogers says:

    Thanks as slways. And welcome!

  3. Roger Eaton says:

    We are all very lucky we got through the cold war without atomic holocaust. Keep your fingers crossed!

  4. Liz says:

    I am most grateful to have clean, delicious drinking water coming right out of the tap!
    Whenever I go away, I am reminded how sweet our water is in Seattle.

  5. Patricia Monagle says:

    As usual, your writing is profound and uplifting. You were also very lucky to have a mom like June! You have such a nice relationship with your wife and sons, too. I feel lucky to be able to have my animals in my teeny, tiny apartment because it is a special kind of love some of us lucky ones get to experience. With 60,000,000 refugees displaced around the world, I am constantly aware of my great, good fortune.

    P.S. I have a new 7-month old grandson, and while I worry greatly about his future, he, is the “light of my life”, and he makes me want to be alive in spite of chronic pain.

  6. Donna V says:

    I am thankful every day for the good fortune that smiled upon my two sons. One was born at 31 weeks, the other near-term (35 weeks) but after multiple complications. Today they are strong, smart, terrific young men with strong moral compasses and love in their lives. It could have so easily been otherwise.

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