A great post from Scalzi talking about and thanking the many people who helped him become a successful “self-made” man.
I’m always amazed by the people I know who, while not nearly as successful as John, insist that whatever they’ve achieved, they’ve done it on their own, when I know for a fact that it simply isn’t true.
Originally posted on Whatever:
To begin, my mother and father are responsible for me existing at all, so I suppose the first round of “How I made it to where I am” begins there.
I was born at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, CA, and as I understand it I was not the easiest of births, taking on the order of three days to be evicted from the womb. That couldn’t have been comfortable or safe either for my mother or for me, so thanks go to the medical team of doctors and nurses who helped with my birth. Likewise, the fact I was born at an Air Force base means that I owe a thanks to America’s military for offering medical care to my mother (based on her relationship to my father, who was in the military at the time), and indirectly to America’s taxpayers, whose dollars went to supporting the military, and thereby those doctors, nurses, my father’s paycheck and my mother’s medical care.
My parents’ marriage did not last particularly long and in the early seventies — and off and on for the next several years — my mother found herself in the position of having to rely on the social net of welfare and food stamps to make sure that when she couldn’t find work (or alternately, could find it but it didn’t pay enough), she was able to feed her children and herself. Once again, I owe thanks to America’s taxpayers for making sure I had enough to eat at various times when I was a child.