I have two friends who are in their early fifties. Both are gay. One has a partner while the other is single. One man couldn’t read when he graduated from high school. He took reading courses at night school when he started a business so he could read contracts he was signing. The other man is highly educated and has worked for a number of companies in several western cities but never had much of a career. The educated man was laid off from his last firm and now works part-time for a retail store. The uneducated man has a successful sales career and is consistently the top producer at his company. He makes a lot of money while the educated man is broke, living paycheck to paycheck. The educated man and his mentally ill brother live in a run-down apartment with no air conditioning while the uneducated man is moving into a $2M house with his partner.
The uneducated man knew a lot about cars and developed a knack for profiting from buying and selling cars. He worked hard and put in long hours. He provided superior customer service and was always available for his clients. He was asked to join a larger firm because of his extensive and loyal customer base. He has made a great life for himself and his partner in spite of starting at a point where most people in the same situation only fail.
The educated man has moved from job to job. He’s has never really applied himself. He looks for jobs at companies where he thinks it will be fun to work. He’s held low-level positions and never tried to advance his career. He’s never been known for being on time and has been fired for tardiness. He’s had two long stints of unemployment causing him to blow throw his meager savings. His car has been repossessed so he takes the bus but often rides his bike because he doesn’t have bus fare. His future doesn’t look bright.
How did this happen? How did an uneducated man become successful against all odds while the educated man has floundered? I believe it has to do with ambition, drive, life choices and work ethics. The educated man ended up where you would expect the uneducated man to be, while the uneducated man is in a place in life where you would expect the educated man to be. Funny how that happened.