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The downside of English dominance is that there has been no pressure to learn other languages. I have been lazy; I never bothered to learn more than a smattering of French and Spanish and a few words of other tongues. So I’ve missed out on the alternative worldviews and ideas that other languages embody, for example about time, gender,nature, and family. That loss is my responsibility, though, not bad luck.
- True, I’m chronically ill, disabled and aging, which might detract from my luck score. But even there, what a great time in history to have been disabled! The electric mobility scooter was invented about 50 years ago, so I’ve can get around. Before then, I would have been a prisoner in my home.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, which allows me on buses and across streets, is less than 30 years old. ADA-related amenities allow me to do things and go places better-abled people couldn’t do a century ago. Computers and the Internet keep me in touch with the world and allow me to keep writing, learning and making money.
- The older and less abled I get, the more people seem to help me. I have lost my wallet at least three times in the last three years, and it’s been returned by strangers each time.
- There’s another plus side to disability. You can’t do as much, so people don’t expect you to do as much. You can usually play the disabled card – “I don’t feel up to doing that now,” and people just say “OK.” .
- I have had access to the teachings of Lao-Tzu, the Buddha, and Jesus, and hundreds of other wise people, and the creativity of thousands of artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers. Any time I want wisdom, advice, inspiration or knowledge, to laugh or cry, it’s just a few clicks away, sometimes on web sites like this one.
- I’ve had family, where some people are on their own. I have friends, who make my life more interesting, easier and rewarding. Add in the whole category of on-line friends, and it’s hard to feel lonely, even when I’m by myself.
Those on-line friends include some special people, authors, thinkers, freedom fighters I would not meet in the real world. I have had correspondence with Anne Benvenuti, author of “Spirit Unleashed,” Robert Sapolsky, who wrote “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers,” and many others. You can find almost anyone’s e-mail or find them on social media, and they usually respond.
All in all, amazingly blessed, I would have to say. Definitely top 2%, maybe higher. But maybe I just don’t realize how lucky other people are. What about you? Can you say you’re lucky, too?
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