The lottery of birth – weekend perspective

Posted on April 11, 2010

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Over at Get Rich Slowly, Robert Brokamp wrote a post about what Warren Buffet calls the lottery of birth.  Imagine that your genetic code, your parents, your home and your heritage, the neighborhood where you grow up and everything about your family and your environment were written on a lottery ball. What if you had the choice, at birth, of putting your lottery ball back into the bin and picking someone else’s ball :

If you could put your ball back, and they took out, at random, a hundred other balls, and you had to pick one of those, would you put your ball back in? Now, of those hundred balls … roughly five of them will be American. … Half of them are going to be below-average intelligence, half will be above. Do you want to put your ball back? Most of you, I think, will not. … What you’re saying is, “I’m in the luckiest 1% of the world right now.

Bottom line: if you would rather not put your lottery ball back in the basket, you’ve got a good life, compared to most people.  You have something to be grateful for.

So, when things start looking down, when you’re struggling, remind yourself: I’m keeping my lottery ball.

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