“White Male in America”
“I mean, I am a white male, born in America.”
This was just one sentence of many exchanged in my two hour train ride from Cairo to Alexandria, Egypt. The conversation was between myself and Isaac, a fellow traveler from Colorado, who had met a few days prior at our hostel in Cairo.
The context of this sentence was discussing future life/business plans, and common excuses we used, or commonly hear our friends use. Many may pass this by, but, given we were traveling, the sentence was extra sticky. So sticky in fact, that I haven’t got it off my mind in the two plus weeks which have eclipsed since the conversation.
The truth is, I love excuses. I use them as a crutch all the time. Especially recently, I seem to be not only using crutches but have graduated to a wheelchair of excuses. If only I had….. If only…….Excuses. The problem is, they are accepted by many, hoping that when it is their turn to spew their excuses, we reciprocate the pity.
But, as Isaac bluntly put it, we are given the most opportunity in the world. This is especially evident after traveling extensively. People would kill, literally, to have the freedom and opportunity for success that we have here in the US of A. I see people busting their ass in the hope to perhaps one day send their children to the United States where they can become anything they want. Its not just a line either, we (by we I am referring to US nationals, regardless of race or sex) have such a blessing that many of us overlook on a daily basis.
Truth be told, nothing irks me more than returning home and interacting with people from my home town who are squandering this beautiful opportunity we were all given. Talking excuse after excuse on why it is ‘impossible’ to get ahead. How ‘if only this’, or ‘if only that’. Or even if they aren’t bitching, they are basking in their mediocrity.
If people from abroad had the same freedom to pursue whatever they wanted, there is no way in hell they would be fine breezing by on laziness and untapped opportunity.
If it is really important enough to you to interrupt my beer drinking to discuss, please do us both a favor and act upon it. Tomorrow is never, and ‘some day’ is going to see you to the grave. No luck talk either. Luck who? Make your own luck.
We had the same upbringing, went to the same schools, played at the same fields, both presented with the same life canvas. The picture we chose to paint was drastically different though.
Pick up the brush people, exercise on this given gift. DO SOMETHING. BE SOMEONE. Or, if you are content with the easy route, at least do this:
Quit Bitching. You have no excuses. (This is stated as much to me as anyone else)
If you want something, do something about it. Voicing your frustrations and dreams may be good, but they aren’t getting you any closer to them. There is one life granted here on earth, and its going to pass by much faster than we know it.
When it gets down to the very bottom. What is the worst that can happen?
Absolute worst. If you try to live out an idea, or try to make it somewhere new.
Perhaps you end up dead broke, with a little knock to the ego, you have to move back home with your parents and recover for a bit. Sounds a lot like the life many people I know back home are living currently. Being the proverbial white male in america (or any race/sex in America), you aren’t going to starve, be lashed, exiled from the community.
So, please, if you hear me complaining about the difficulties in my life, or reaching out for pity on my misfortunes, remind me that I am, at the end of the day, a white male in America (and so are you).