How the World Works

Mama never told me it would be like this.

Duck for DinnerAs a matter of fact, my mother, if she were alive, would still not know how the world works. Like most people, she wants to believe you work hard, marry right, put your nose to the grindstone and it all works out.

But it doesn’t really happen that way at all.

My father knew. And always got in trouble for it. No one wanted to hear what he had to say, except the people who made a lot of money on his words, lawyers and property owners.

But regular people did not. Because my father always wanted to lift the end of the carpet, to uncover the truth.

As he told me more than once, “there are no miracles.” The person driving a hundred thousand dollar car with no visible means of support… He’s inherited millions, or is on the way to bankruptcy. Because if it looks inexplicable, it is.

So they tell us to work hard, get into a good college and it will all work out.

Only it doesn’t.

Let’s forget the losers. Those who drop out, who watch reality television and dream of winning a hundred grand. Because a hundred grand doesn’t go far, and it certainly doesn’t last. Winners don’t only score once, but again and again. Which is why the smart people become record executives, not recording stars.

So you graduate from college and take a job at the factory. Call it the law firm, the bank, the brokerage house. You think you’re winning, but you’re afraid of risk, like Jennifer Lawrence’s character in this movie you don’t like change.

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