This is post number 200. The number 100 seems to have more meaning to bloggers, but I missed that one. I didn’t notice until I had passed 110. So, I decided to wait until 200 before making a special post.
So this is it – I decided to list of some of the things that have contributed to me having a truly fortunate and wonderful life.
I was born in the United States of America (a) – less than three weeks from the end of 1938, the fifth of six children. The Great Depression was nearing its end and the most horrible war in the history of mankind was just months away. Being one-half Jew, had I been born of the same parents in mainland Europe it is likely that I would have by now been dead for over 66 years – my siblings and parents as well.
I was born in the United States of America (b) – where my future would be determined by my talent and my ambition – not by the fact that my family was poor and that I was a minority.
I was blessed with a close and wonderful family – My parents had little education. My father worked hard for low wages. For them life was a struggle, full of personal sacrifice, but they made a warm and loving home for my sister, four brothers and me. And though we naturally had occasional verbal spats as children, there has always been a loving closeness between us.
I was afforded an excellent education – The public elementary and high schools I attended were outstanding. And the combination of scholarships, working part-time during the school year and full-time in summer, being able to live at home and commute, plus the availability of Government backed loans enabled me to earn a degree from one of America’s finest universities.
I had an interesting and rewarding career – My college degree led to successful professional career with the Federal Government, where I was able to work in several great American cities and to travel throughout the country – and it ultimately provided me with a pension which enables me to enjoy retirement in comfort. I am in no ways rich – but definitely comfortable.
In my entire adult life I have lived in affluent suburbs of major American cities – communities with low crime rates, excellent school systems, cultural activities, great shopping, wonderful parks and recreational facilities – and most of all an atmosphere of true civility. In a way, I guess I have lived a sheltered life – so much so that the America I often see on television and read about in newspapers and magazines is foreign to me.
I have never in my life been anywhere in America where I felt unsafe – although there were times when I felt unwelcome and disliked – specifically in the deep South during the 1960’s when my accent and my New York license plate exposed me as a Northerner. But even then I never felt I was in physical danger.
I have been physically active and have enjoyed excellent health throughout my adult life – I have been so blessed that if I were suddenly struck with a serious disease or handicap I don’t really feel I’d have any right to complain.
There is much more I could add, but I think I have made my case. True, there have been some difficulties, stresses, sorrows and loss, but on balance it has so far been a wonderful life.