"You seem to be successful, happily married, with a history of a good marital sex life, socially at least somewhat liberal, fiscally conservative, Texan, intelligent, an interesting writer, bisexual, good taste in men (at least from your photo blog), Christian, and you have had longstanding very close friends-with-benefits relationships with men, and your wife is aware of this and it didn't ruin your marriage.
Jesus, man, how did you manage all that? Kudos to you."
Like anyone, I appreciate a compliment whenever one is offered. However, in this case, I have to point out that the person offering the compliment is seeing me as a man in his mid sixties. If he had known
Even so, the person complimenting me has more than likely seen, as have I, men in their sixties and even seventies who have not been very successful in their lives. What is it that allows some of us to achieve great success in our lives while others among us seem to struggle throughout their lives, or even worse, simply give up at some point?
The letter writer is correct when he describes me a fiscally conservative and socially liberal. For the most part that is correct. However, while I consider myself socially liberal, I am, by no means, a bleeding heart liberal. My recent reply to an "Anonymous Liberal" points out the distinct difference between me and the bleeding liberal hearts who are too blind, too elite, and too egotistical to see that they are on a path to destroying this country and its heritage.
I point out this reply because it answers part of the letter writers questions. My father was a man of few words. He spoke in a clear and simple way. He took seriously his duty to raise me and my brothers to be men who could support ourselves and our families. From an early age, he impressed on us that we were part of a world which doesn't give a damn about us. He stressed that there was no excuse for failure to be found outside ourselves. Adversity was just another name for challenge; and challenge was just another name for opportunity in my father's philosophy.
Feeling blue or mistreated? Get over it! Pick yourself up by your own bootstraps and keep doing whatever it is you have to do to achieve your goals was another major part of my father's philosophy of life, though he didn't say it in such gentle words.
I can't remember a single time I ever got a single word of sympathy from my father. Bleeding or
In today's world, not nearly enough people share my father's philosophy for success. "If I can't make more than minimum wage, why work?" they say. "Why should I stay in school?" they ask. "The governments got money, why should I work? they contend. Worse still, many people today would consider my father's philosophy a sign of ignorance. In response to anyone with such a viewpoint, I point out that my father raised three very successful sons.
Liberals contend minorities still need preferences and handouts to achieve success. The truth belies their contentions. Tens of thousands of minority middle and upper class Americans have made their lives a success just by taking advantage of the opportunities available to all Americans and by refusing to be defeated. The only fight I have with these successful minority Americans is, even they, now fall victim all too often to the liberal lie that minorities must have special help and preferences to achieve success. They have forgotten that it is their own struggle that made them what they are today.
Such self delusion is not just engaged in by successful minorities. It is also engaged in my successful white Americans who try to shield their children from the struggles they had to overcome on the road to success. They give their kids everything money can buy and never teach them the value of hard work and personal achievement. I admire Bill Gates and other wealthy Americans who do not plan to share their fortunes with their children, but instead teach them how to make their own fortunes.
Another reason for my success is that I was born with an inquiring mind. I always wanted to know, Why? I was never satisfied with success. I always wanted more. As a young man, I looked at people
I have never been a person who is afraid of or resistant to change. Nothing has ever been sacred to me simply because it is the way it has always been done. I have always been sensitive to the rights and the feelings of others because I have always been a believer in the old maxim that "what goes round comes round." Now, in the twilight of my years, I can honestly say that in my observation throughout my life those who cheat and steal and take advantage of others are seldom successful in the long run and never happy in the long run.
I have never been one to blame my failures on others. That sort of thing is simply alien to the philosophy of life my father instilled in me. It is a tell tale mark of the ignorant. If I fail, I simply try to learn from the failure and initiate a new strategy. Along the same lines, I've never thought of myself as the only person who has to carry a bag of rocks around with him. I know everyone has their own bag of rocks, and I believe it is out bag of rocks and what we do about them that determines our stature in life. No one else can relieve us of our rocks. They are our personal responsibility.
I've always been willing and able to reassess my bag of rocks. Often I've found what I thought was just a rock was, in fact, a gem stone. Such is the case with my bisexuality. For years it was one of the biggest rocks I had to carry. When I finally was able to assess it correctly, I found it to be one of the biggest gems in my life. It was because of my bisexuality, that I met some of the most important people in my life. It was because of my bisexuality I have been able to help some people to deal with their own sexual challenges. It is one of my life's greatest satisfactions to know that I have been able to affect lives for the better. At the same time, there is satisfaction that I was not able to affect such change all by myself, but rather by helping others to identify their options, clarify their thinking and take on new paradigms that brought about the changes.
I have always been a planner. I had the good sense to marry a woman who was also a planner. She is also intelligent and self sufficient. She doesn't need me to take care of her. She simply needs me to share my life with her. So many people ruin their chances of real success in life by marrying beautiful, needy women who are both unwilling and unable to be an asset to them. Such carelessness, more often than not, takes a huge toll on one's life.
Finally, throughout my life, I have surrounded myself with great people. Especially in my career, I
Have I made mistakes in my life? Too many to count, but mistakes have always been just a weigh station on the road to success. One of the greatest discoveries of my life has been that people appreciate a good attitude and a willingness to do something, even if its sometimes wrong. More often than not, such people are quickly forgiven their mistakes. It has happened to me over and over in my life.
I've always believed in powers bigger than myself. In my mind such belief is vital to keeping oneself grounded.
It's never too late to achieve success. We don't have to be rich to be counted successful. We don't have to have the grand home of the expensive car to be seen as a success. Some of the most successful people I've ever known have been quite poor in material means. As my father always said, "Be the best at whatever you do. If you dig ditches for a living, be the best ditch digger anyone has ever known."