We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Plenty of readers might not approve of Woody Allen, but that quote certainly applies to my life trajectory. You meet people, some of them think you are neither stupid nor an ahole, and good things tend to happen.
Outside of work, I am a very amateur actor in musicals. Can't dance. No glamor guy. I show up. I learn my lines, if any. I learn the songs, if any. I attend every possible rehearsal. I try to imagine the character. Am I any good? Meh. Nonetheless, as I show up, I am often cast.
I know a two ladies, both far more talented than I. One is fussy--isn't offered specific roles, she not only turns it down, but pouts for days and days.
The other has roles in mind, but almost NEVER turns down an alternate role.
One of them works ALL THE TIME. The other is sometimes on stage.
I base the coursework and grading in all my undergrad classes on that simple idea. Show up, do the work, and get a "B" at a minimum. Do a good job, get an "A." Of course, every semester, some students disappoint, and get letters further along in the alphabet.
True enough. As a former professor, my advice to new college students is1. go to class...seems obvious but many don't get it, 2. introduce yourself to your professor(s)...we do want to know your name so that if we see you on campus we can acknowledge with a hello, 3. participate in some kind of campus activity...could be sports or one of the many clubs--belonging counts.
It absolutely starts with simply showing up. My two sons both worked fairly menial jobs in high school/college (fast food, valet parking).
But they were both considered "highly valued" simply because they a. showed up for scheduled shifts, b. were on time, and c. worked with a good attitude. That's all it took to differentiate them from many of their co-workers.
"More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly."