Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Pursuit of Happyness

We just got around to watching Pursuit of Happyness with actor Will Smith (yes, that's happyness with a "y"). Based on the true story of Chris Gardner's climb from poverty (with dramatic license), it's an excellent movie.

I volunteered at a homeless shelter here in town for a while and what occurred to me then is that it's a hell of a lot easier to end up in a shelter than it is to get out of one. For whatever quirk of fate or act of stupidity may bring you there, once you're reduced to spending 98% of your time/energy on the mere act of survival there is very little left over for life advancement.

People seem to underestimate the amount of effort it takes to subsist. I like to think of myself as strong and resourceful but I'm not sure if I'd have the endurance necessary to ascend the kind of poverty where you own nothing more than what you can fit in a backpack. Determination may be the key to escape but luck can definitely be make-or-break.

In the end, success depends on both.

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