Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Courage...
Old 02-28-2005, 08:58 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
Courage...

Do any of you look around at current international events and think, "There but for the grace of God (or Allah) go I!"? I may be a year or two older than many of you, but right after graduation from college I did the 60's thing and went to Europe. There I met a young Lebanese student headed for Columbia law school. I didn't know what a jewel he was and we each went our own way. That was doubtless a blessing for the both of us as he has been the target of Syrian ire and spent a night or two in prison in recent years.

Our young men and women are brave and valiant, each of us praying that our leaders are doing the right thing (although they have not always done the wise or right thing) for the people of the Middle East. It is important to remember that there are citizens in the Middle East who have put their lives at risk seeking justice and the rule of law. I am in awe of all of them.

__________________

__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Courage...
Old 02-28-2005, 10:23 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Hyperborea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,008
Re: Courage...

Quote:
Do any of you look around at current international events and think, "There but for the grace of God (or Allah) go I!"?
Oh hell yeah. *I think most people attribute too much of what happens to them to their own efforts. *A lot of what we are and where we end up is random chance - luck if you will. *I've seen friends who did everything right and were on the track for big things have it all wiped out by random incidents (one friend and his wife were killed by a truck crossing the median). *I've also seen people doing things not any different from others around them strike it big on random stock option lotteries.

In many cases all we can control is our own repsonse to these events.
__________________

__________________
Hyperborea is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Courage...
Old 03-01-2005, 10:30 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mesa
Posts: 3,588
Re: Courage...

Quote:

Oh hell yeah. *I think most people attribute too much of what happens to them to their own efforts. *A lot of what we are and where we end up is random chance - luck if you will. *. . . .
And the luck starts at birth. Most of the world population is not born into a wealthy country, with lots of opportunity, etc. Since I was born in the US to a stable, middle class family with both a mother and father, I had lots of advantages. As long as I was reasonably smart and somewhat motivated, I had a really good chance of living a comfortable and satisfying life. And I even had a chance of making enough money to retire early. Most of the people in the world can't say that. For many, they are born into ignorance and poverty and no matter how smart or how motivated, they will die in it.

__________________
sgeeeee is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Courage...
Old 03-01-2005, 01:05 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BUM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mid Hudson Valley
Posts: 1,778
Re: Courage...

Ditto all that esp. "our valiant and brave young men and women".

When Mrs. BUM and I find ourselves fretting over nickels and dimes, I remind her (and myself) that we are better off than 90+% of humanity.

Just luck? You betcha!

BUM
__________________
In a panamax down by the river.
BUM is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Courage...
Old 03-01-2005, 04:33 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Re: Courage...

Quote:
And the luck starts at birth. *Most of the world population is not born into a wealthy country, with lots of opportunity, etc. *Since I was born in the US to a stable, middle class family with both a mother and father, I had lots of advantages. *As long as I was reasonably smart and somewhat motivated, I had a really good chance of living a comfortable and satisfying life. *And I even had a chance of making enough money to retire early. * ;D *Most of the people in the world can't say that. *For many, they are born into ignorance and poverty and no matter how smart or how motivated, they will die in it.
Paraphrasing his recent speech to Vanderbilt students, Warren Buffett said "If I was born in Bangladesh and walked down the streets saying 'I can efficiently allocate capital!' people would say 'Get a job'. Bill Gates kids me that if I was born a thousand years ago I'd be running through the jungle, chased by lions, and screaming 'I can efficiently allocate capital!".

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Courage...
Old 03-02-2005, 10:34 AM   #6
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Courage...

I think about that grace statement a lot - even looking around me here in CA. I'm listening to the book "Into thin Air" right now and the differences between what westerners and Sherpas are compensated for their efforts is amazing---orders of magnitude different and frankly the Sherpas do more work.

I also reflect on the different places I've been and see how our expectations here in the US really place us on at times a no-winning hamster cycle. If one just adjusts their expectations and works a bit more, they do have an opportunity to 'live a life of leisure.'

Also, I at times tear up when I see people in places that have less personal freedom of expression take risks to attain that within their own lands---it is amazing to see these types of changes which then snowball into other changes which hopefully bring about better living conditions for their people and nation.

Great post - thanks - Bridget
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Courage...
Old 03-02-2005, 11:07 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,318
Re: Courage...

Brat,
Right on, brother.
We are incredibly blessed. I can't subscribe to the theory of the 'self-made man or woman' -- even just having the chance to earn a living in a reasonably coherent economy, or invest in a reasonably fair market or live in a country where they don't knock on the door in the middle of the night and haul you away for crimes against the current power stucture -- these are incredibly valuable and the result of lots of courage, work, sacrifice by others that we just inherit.

Maybe that is why I am wired up to try to figure out how to use ER to contribute something back. Something I want to do, not something I feel forced or shamed into doing, but which I wouldn't have been able to ever get to if I were still working full time. Its the best way I know to try to say 'thanks'.
__________________
ER for 10 years; living off 4.3% of savings (and a few book royalties ;-)
ESRBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Courage...
Old 03-02-2005, 03:41 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BUM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mid Hudson Valley
Posts: 1,778
Re: Courage...

Quote:
Brat,

Maybe that is why I am wired up to try to figure out how to use ER to contribute something back. .
Having worked in the healthcare industry in and around hospitals, I've had the privledge to meet many volunteers. These are selfless unsung heros among us. ERs should consider volunteering.

"What have they got that I haven't got?....Courage"

BUM
__________________
In a panamax down by the river.
BUM is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Courage...
Old 03-02-2005, 03:55 PM   #9
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Courage...

Quote:
We are incredibly blessed. *I can't subscribe to the theory of the 'self-made man or woman' -- even just having the chance to earn a living in a reasonably coherent economy, or invest in a reasonably fair market or live in a country where they don't knock on the door in the middle of the night and haul you away for crimes against the current power stucture -- these are incredibly valuable and the result of lots of courage, work, sacrifice by others that we just inherit.
Nothing but agreement from me on this!

When I see a guy like Steve Forbes on TV say "The harder I work, the luckier I get", it makes me want to puke.

I know I'm lucky, and am smart enough to know that I was born in the right country, the right race, with enough brains and physical health to parents in the middle class that provided a stable home life to get an education to thrive in my generation.

To think that I 'arrived' based upon my own wiles and wits would be incredibly naive and uneducated.

With all of that said, I am not going to waste my incredible luck. I am going to take off next week for about 10 days of Trout Fishing in New Mexico. 8)
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Courage...
Old 03-02-2005, 06:55 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Eagle43's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: DFW
Posts: 1,882
Re: Courage...

I concur. What the hell did I do to deserve this good fortune? Answer: Nothing. I try to be thankful every day, but of course, tend to whine too much about petty things. But, I am lucky and I know it.

Course, probably not as lucky as Cut-Throat. The trout, on the other hand, may be unlucky. :P.

__________________
Resist much. Obey Little. . . . Ed Abbey

Disclaimer: My Posts are for my amusement only.
Eagle43 is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: Courage...
Old 03-02-2005, 07:30 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Courage...

Cutting over to this thread from the other, lets investigate this a little further. Granted the luck of being born in the US to the right parents instead of in Botswana makes a big difference to start.

You do have the ability to make your own "luck".

As a sophomore in HS, I was living with a friend and working two jobs while still going to school. My grades stunk, so no scholarships there. I broke my foot playing football that year and would be in a cast for six months. So much for a good shot at sports scholarships. No way I was going to qualify for any big loans.

Fast forward 5 years and I could have still been flipping burgers at macdonalds and washing dishes at the deli. Miserably married with two kids. Drinking my problems away. Wishing someone would give me a handout or make my life more "fair".

Instead, I walked into the computer lab at school and asked the nerds to teach me about computers and how to write code. Ended up becoming good friends with a couple of them. Once I got the cast off and could get around a little better, I walked into a computer store and offered to work for them for free for a few hours each afternoon after school in exchange for teaching me a few things. The store owner had a PhD in computer science; his brother was his princeton classes valedictorian with degrees in marketing and finance. The store 'regulars' (as mentioned in another thread) were a regular "who's who" of the burgeoning computer business. I did end up working almost my entire first year there for free, and the cheap bastards did cut me a small salary for another year after that. But what I learned was priceless. It was like free accellerated college taking place in the real world.

I *did* make my own luck, and the harder I worked the luckier I did in fact get. But I had to get off my ass, pick a direction that was going to get me somewhere and stay the course.

A bunch of my friends ended up washing out of the military, working in machine shops, doing landscaping, drinking and smoking dope to close out their days. Nice guys. Married nice gals. Hate each other mostly.

Because they let things happen to them and went with the flow instead of making things happen for them.

Is that what made me rich and ER'ed? Nope, that was an incredible string of improbably good luck, happenstance and coincidence.

But I was doing pretty dang good before all the good luck landed in my lap. And I do feel deeply blessed for the good luck and the way the cookies crumbled.

Someone who ends up 22 in a bad marriage with a bunch of kids they cant afford and a crappy job is right where their bad decisions and inactions led them.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Courage...
Old 03-03-2005, 09:57 AM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
flipstress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 537
Re: Courage...

Quote:
Do any of you look around at current international events and think, "There but for the grace of God (or Allah) go I!"? *
Yes, as recently as last night and this morning, in fact. (We had a dinner guest who does mission work in Colombia.)

I grew up in "the Third World" in a poor, rough-and-tumble neighborhood. My parents were poor but valued education; although they themselves did not go to college, they made sure I did. I was a student who only had to be concerned about my studies. It helped that I went to a government-subsidized state university with low tuition. (I was amazed to come here to the US and see that young kids hold down one or more jobs to send themselves to school.)

Relatives here helped me a lot: I lived with them while going for more schooling and while starting out working. Sure, I worked hard, too, and went through many pains adjusting to a different culture.

Now, my life is OK, and I'm even dreaming and working towards ER. I help my mom and sib back home with a little allowance money. I've been here over 20 years, so I have mixed feelings sometimes--you know the conflict between familial expectations there and the individualistic mindset here. I can get pretty selfish, thinking "What about my life, my own financial needs, etc.?"

Framing most of my life in terms of luck sometimes helps when I get big-headed and selfish. Just last night, I was thinking "So, I'm lucky, what now, what next?"

I'll let you know what I come up with if I come up with anything.
__________________
flipstress is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Courage...
Old 03-03-2005, 11:36 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
Re: Courage...

Quote:
I help my mom and sib back home with a little allowance money. *I've been here over 20 years, so I have mixed feelings sometimes--you know the conflict between familial expectations there and the individualistic mindset here. *I can get pretty selfish, thinking "What about my life, my own financial needs, etc.?"
I have had the great good fortune to get to know a few Filipinas here in the USA, and I am very impressed and deeply respectful of what they can and are willing to do for their families back home.

I realize that there must be some conflicts, but anyway my hat is off to you for whatever you can do for your family back there.

Mikey
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Courage...
Old 03-04-2005, 09:37 AM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
flipstress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 537
Re: Courage...

Mikey,
Thank you for the nice, encouraging words (and the warm welcome on my thread in the Hi-I-am section).

It is up-and-down with me on helping out the family abroad. Sometimes, I feel I don't do enough and other times, I feel that I've been doing it too long--when will it end?

As with many things, there is no final, permanent fix or solution because I do not have infinite resources. So I will just do what I can, like you said, and keep them in mind, hoping to find more or better ways to help them, primarily financially but in other ways, too, like moral support.
__________________

__________________
flipstress is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need courage piano88 Hi, I am... 11 12-01-2005 06:27 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:33 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.