I was born in Fall of 1963, within a few weeks of Kennedy’s assassination. It was a time of upheaval in many ways, and the beginning of the many troubles to come. I believe this had a lasting effect on my psyche as I developed. At the time my mother was pregnant with me she contacted the German measles, which caused me to be very sick while I was invitro.
Over the next 10 years I spent much of my time in hospital, and as such was unable to attend class for much of elementary school. This made it difficult for teachers to grade me, so I was often given a mark of “incomplete” on my report cards. Despite not attending much school, I did enjoy reading, and had a lot of free time to do it. When my fifth-grade teacher attempted to fail me for attending so few days of school, my mother stepped in and pushed to have me tested out of the grade. It was due to her tenacity, and my reading, that I was able to move forward to the next year, and was recommended by the testing psychologist that I be moved ahead an additional five grades. My mother’s wisdom again saved me from my teachers, requesting that I remain with my own age level, knowing that this would serve me better in the long run.
During the many endless days in the hospital, I read regularly. This gave me time to think through issues of philosophy, which I still enjoy to the present day.
Throughout my time in hospital I was on deaths door many times, and this gave me a strong sense of just how temporary life is.
My spiritual life started at a very young age, in large part because I was so often on the doorstep of the afterlife; and due to being near death so often I have developed a rather unnatural lack of fear of it. This has allowed me to be much more adventurous than most might be and allowed me to travel to many dangerous places around the world.
It was later in my teen years that my health improved, allowing me to attend college and graduate school, where I studied economics and finance. I have spent much of my career in these fields.
By starting a company soon out of college, it allowed me the opportunity to get ahead financially, and eventually permitted me to take much of my early thirties off to travel. In those years off from work I continued my old habit of reading for hours each day, and this included the encyclopedia from cover to cover. My passions in life to this day usually revolve around learning and experiencing other ways of thinking. Many travels have allowed me to explore various cultures, which I now look on as one of the most valuable things I have done in my life.
Since a very young age, I was told that I would not live a normal adult lifespan, and this has allowed me to be more focused than most people; and as such I have been able to experience much more than most do in an entire lifetime.
I mention this for the benefit of those reading this who are still young. Focus is the one thing that will move you further ahead in life than any other trait. I have now lived for over 50 years, and as such I consider myself to be very fortunate and content with what I have been able to see. Too many people wake up too late in life to do much about it, and it is a very sad thing to have lived longer than others may have, and accomplished less of what they deem important. Being aware of my own fragility, my earliest memories have proven to be a true blessing for me.
When I read historical biographies, I am often amazed at how many people, who never received a full life, still did amazing things. It is a continuous motivation to me, especially since I have now lived longer on this planet than so many, to do what I can, while I can. Yet, at the same time, it also makes me anxious, wondering if I have done enough to justify my own “extra time” here.
My advice to any who are presently caught in a place of disillusionment for whatever reason, not knowing how to move forward, is to get moving – because God cannot steer a parked car. Use the time you have now to do something worthy of your own respect, because it will not be long before your opportunity will be gone forever.