From Seth Godin's blog:
KH - Its quite amazing to consider the circumstances surrounding our orgins and how we manifest as human beings. The lucky millions of people blessed to live in this bustling metroplis of social darwinism called New York probably dont' realize it, but we hit the life lottery. What are the chances you
will reach success? We are only given the hand that the genetic and social lottery is given, but many of us are brought to this city by our own will and determination to make it. Gratitude to our parents and our lucky circumstances are in order.
Warren Buffet on Gratitude
There are roughly 6 Billion people in the world. Imagine the worlds biggest lottery where every one of those 6 Billion people was required to draw a ticket. Printed on each ticket were the circumstances in which they would be required to live for the rest of their lives.
Printed on each ticket were the following items:
- Place of Birth (Country, State, City, etc.)
- Type of Government
- Parents names, income levels & occupations
- IQ (a normal distribution, with a 66% chance of your IQ being 100 & a standard deviation of 20)
- Weight, height, eye color, hair color, etc.
- Personality traits, temperment, wit, sense of humor
- Health risks
If you are reading this blog right now, I'm guessing the ticket you drew when you were born wasn't too bad. The probability of you drawing a ticket that has the favorable circumstances you are in right now is incredibly small (say, 1 in 6 billion). The probability of you being born as your prefereable sex, in the United States, with an average IQ, good health and supportive parents is miniscule.
Warren spent about an hour talking about how grateful we should all be for the circumstances we were born into and for the generous ticket we've been offered in life. He said that we should not take it for granted or think that it is the product of something we did - we just drew a lucky ticket. (He also pointed out that his skill of "allocating capital" would be useless if he would have been born in poverty in Bangladesh.)