I stopped to think and forgot to start again (bill_schubert) wrote,
I stopped to think and forgot to start again

Better to be lucky than good

When I was in the Navy "Better to be lucky than good" was the aviator's creed and I adopted it.  While I have a pretty good work ethic and have grabbed opportunities without fear (benefits of ADHD, I'm moving too fast to think about the downside of things) I've been luckier than most.  I was born on 3rd base.  White, male and middle class.  This was my most important piece of luck. But there have been so many others.

Probably the most amazing piece of luck was during one of my post college job ramblings I was on a leaf vacuum truck in North Carolina.  I was a Humanities major.  With me in the truck were two others.  One was an ex-British Navy accountant.  The third was an ex-American Navy enlisted with a Landscape Architect degree.  We vacuumed leaves and debated philosophy.
The ex-American Navy guy decided he would try for the Navy Officer program by taking the test.  By virtue of sitting in a truck having been randomly assigned to the job after having been fired from my previous one I suddenly had an opportunity.  He and I went down to the big city and took the Naval Officer's test.  I don't remember the trip.  Don't remember much of the test but do remember that I was selected for OCS and he was not.  I was 25 and had never even seen a Navy ship.

Nineteen years later I was offered (read forced) into early retirement.  It turns out that the timing of that release set up the rest of my life leading to my current business.  But that is another story. The monthly Navy pension was only a little smaller than it would have been had I remained another year so that was no big deal.  But the huge implication was that I receive health care for the rest of my life and my wife has it for the rest of her life whether or not I survive her.

Reading this morning's paper I again think of how incredibly fortunate I am that the health care debate does not reach me personally.  I provide 100% group health care for my employees so they are covered too.  I am fairly well insulated from this huge debacle.  All because I was fired from a crappy job at a radio station and fell into a job in a leaf vacuum truck.

Better to be lucky than good.

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