Jack Green lived an interesting life. Had things gone right in the end, he would have been wealthier than George Soros. Instead he was derailed by natural disasters and betrayed by a partner for a few million dollars. Then his health gave way, though he survived because of a heart transplant. Then he gained the greatest treasure of all. He became Jack Green.
He became the kind man, the one always willing to listen. He became the guy always ready to help.
He was the guy who never complained, never criticized, and was always willing to be both pleasant and supportive. In thinking about my life, I major major progress when I decided that, in part, I wanted to become a Jack Green. I had realized I was about to become Crankshaft, my model was a guy much like Crankshaft in a suit. Then I realized that it would be better to follow Jack.
Everyone needs to consider aging. Not everyone can become Chuck Norris, Hugh Nibley or Elijah. In that regards, I’ve known people whose identity was being the youngest and the brightest, or the youngest and prettiest. I’ve met them at age seventy or eighty when they were still trying to fit that role. It doesn’t even work for people in their thirties and forties. It is a train wreck at 60. I can’t describe it properly at 70+, other than to acknowledge that it is the one time that being an alcoholic did not seem to make stupidity even more pathetic.
I’ve seen so many other roles people try out. Kids often run through many roles. The smart kid. The nice kid. The smart alec. Class clown. Cohort. Teacher’s pet. But ask yourself how many of these you (a) see at work, (b) still have any use for in adult life, (c) want to be when you grow up?
Chronic kvetchers. Glory hounds and glory hogs (one runs around trying to be a hero, the other runs around trying to claim credit).
Instead of this, the world would be a lot better with more people who when they grow up decide to become Jack Green, as he was when he grew up. Happy, pleasant, supportive and friendly. When you turn 65, what do you want to be? Me, I’d like to be like Jack Green decided to be.