Tuesday, September 5, 2017

It's Not Me, It's You

If you found some wisdom in my blog, then you've had to mine through a mountain of horse shit.  You should congratulate yourself, not me, for improving your life!

I get viewer mail.  It falls into one of three categories.  The first is advice-seeking, which I hate.  I hate to let people down, but giving advice is the most dangerous thing on earth.  People take advice halfway and when it doesn't work out, blame you for the outcome.   So, for example, I say, "save money and cut expenses" and someone goes out and maxes out their 401(k) but at the same time doesn't cut their spending one iota (and in fact increases it, because, hey, they're saving money, right?).  They take half the advice, not the whole thing, and the end result is crippling credit card debt, because they tied up all their money in the 401(k) and didn't cut spending a corresponding amount.   And hey, I did this once, so I know how it works.

The second category is the "you're full of shit!" variety, which castigate me for being an ignorant fool.   Actually, these people are very perceptive.  I am an ignorant fool.  What they fail to realize is, they are one, too.   They write me to say that I have no idea what I am talking about.  "Leasing a car is a good deal!" they say, "The salesman told me so!  And he has years of experience in the car business - what the heck do you know?"    Or they tell me, "My real estate agent told me to buy as much house as you can afford!  And they are real estate professionals!   What the heck do you know about real estate compared to them?"

And perhaps they are right.  Maybe I don't know as much.   But I am not trying to sell you a car or a house, either.   Put that in your pipe and smoke it - maybe things will become clearer.

The third category are fans who claim they found wisdom in my pile of horseshit - I guess like a chunk of undigested corn.  They claim they have turned their life around, reduced their debt, increased their savings and they were inspired by something I said.

Well, that is gratifying to hear, to be sure - that something I said resonates with others.   But congratulate yourself, not me, because you did all the heavy lifting here.   It is easy to say "save more, spend less" but awfully fucking hard to do it, to be sure.   It is easy to pontificate on how things should be or what to do,  it is damn near impossible to do these things.  The mind and body are weak, and we are all easily tempted by the new car dealer and the fast-food restaurant, all promising relief from the drudgery of daily life, if only for an instant or so.

So give yourself a pat on the back and take a bow for your own accomplishments.   And maybe you can then move from category three to category two, and tell me how far I have my head up my ass.