There’s No Such Thing as a self-made Man

Neither set of my grandparents ever got out of poverty, but uncles from both sides of the family got rich.
Uncle Bud’s wife left him and their three small children. He was single for a decade, and met a woman who had likewise been abandoned with three small children. They fell in love and were married. Her ex-husband had been rich, so now my uncle was, too.
Hardly a self-made man, it was dumb luck to have met a rich women who fell in love with him. Or the grace of God.
Now, Uncle Dan’s story was quite different. He was a sailor in World War Two, and was injured when his ship was hit by enemy fire. While in the hospital he met a man who had lost a leg in the war, who complained about the prosthesis he was given. Uncle Dan asked to see it, and exclaimed “I can make a better leg than this,” and when he was released from the hospital, he did.
They went into business together. Dan, his partner, and Dan’s wife started a factory with borrowed money and lived in it. Dan said their diet was almost entirely beans.
But his one legged partner was an excellent salesman, and Dan had crafted an excellent leg, better than world class at the time. His partner would visit amputees in the hospital and give his sales pitch until the amputee would say “what the hell do you know about it?” He would simply pull up his pants leg for an instant sale. You couldn’t tell he had a prosthetic, probably the first such amputee who didn’t walk funny.
He was very wealthy by the time I was born; his kids are a decade older than me (Dan was the oldest of four boys, my dad was the youngest).
“There,” you might exclaim, “is a fine example of a self made man.” But not just anybody could do what Dan did. Intelligence and creativity run in the family, it was just God’s grace that he had those qualities. It was also a lottery winning moment when he met his future partner. A hundred things had to go right for him to be so successful.
There are no self-made men. God makes them all.

Gasoline Tax
Seventy Six Broke Bones
How To Record Music From the Internet
What Went Wrong in Afghanistan?
Why I Don’t Write Dystopian SF
How to Be a Vulcan
Why the National Anthem Should Be Changed
Product Review: Battery Powered Lawnmowers
Dear President Biden
Dear Governor Pritzker,
The Horrible Reason Most Professional Sports Players Are Black
Last year's stories and articles


Share on Facebook

You can read or download my books for free here. No ads, no login, just free books.