Wednesday, October 01, 2003

I was speaking with a friend today who was reluctant to ask for a much-deserved freebie. "I grew up poor," she said, "and I always lived in fear that people would find out how poor my family was. So I didn't want to ask for things."

My wife also grew up in a not-wealthy family, and is similarly reluctant to make waves.

On the other hand, I grew up as a child of (relative) privilege, and I never hesitate to ask for freebies. In fact, I often tell telemarketers, "I'm a cheap bastard, so I never buy anything." I sign up for all those free children's book clubs, and then cancel and keep the free gift.

I think it's quite ironic that those who most deserve our praise and admiration are reluctant to ask for favors, while those (like me) who have already gotten all the breaks expect and ask for the world.

Maybe I should hold selfishness seminars for those of modest means!

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