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Friday, May 29, 2015

An Exercise in 'Grass Is Always Greener...'

This morning over a couple Double-Stuf oreos and glass of milk (breakfast of champions) I was having a pleasant thought debate with myself mulling over the following question:

Putting gender, race and political views aside, if you could trade places in your life with one of the following successes, who would it be: Kobe Bryant, Martha Stewart or President Obama?

Each person is different yet share a similarity or two..

First, Kobe..
If you were him, you'd be extremely rich making $23 million a year, a true basketball Champion and among the greatest NBA players in the game's history.. and all at the somewhat young age of 36.

You'd have a beautiful wife, beautiful home, beautiful friends..

Then again you maybe have one or two more years doing the thing you love before multiple injuries, age (36 in NBA years is Old) and the rough unemotional business part of basketball kicks in forces you to retire.

And then what?
Very few retired players go on to achieve anything of success or meaning in their post-athlete life and that's pretty much confined to coaching, administrative duties for a team or doing TV/radio work..

People like Kareem Abdul Jabbar who has shown in post-retirement life to be an accomplished writer and historian are few and far between.

Most are like Dr J who been retired for close to 30 years now and has done nothing with his post-NBA life of merit or exceptionalism; just lives off past glories.
And odds are whatever Kobe does with his life in the decades ahead, his peak occurred before he turned 40 and now its all sunset..

Plus forever you would have the taint of a sexual assault/rape accusation which was quickly and quietly covered up thanks to lots of $$ to the accuser..

Would you choose to be Kobe?

Next is Martha Stewart..
She built a successful cooking and business empire and still is involved as Chairwoman of her company.  Plus she's extremely wealthy, lives in a beautiful home surrounded by other wealthy celebs and even to this day has a loyal devoted following..

So unless she runs afoul of the law again or is involved in some scandal, the chances her business crumbles is pretty remote, at least for the foreseeable future.

But remember we're talking of the Martha Stewart of 2015, not 2000 when her reputation was pristine, she was on the cover of just about every magazine and her daytime show was a strong ratings success
A time when late night talk show hosts wanted her to appear to boost ratings rather than use her troubles as fodder to mock and disparage every night during the monologues..

And currently Martha is 73 years old with all the ailments and problems 73yr olds have

Would you choose to be Martha?

Next is President Obama..
As I said before, put aside the ideologies and whether you think he was a great leader or a absolute failure, if you chose him, you'd be the President; the leader of the Free World for about 20 more months..  That's a nice perk

Plus you would be deeply and unconditionally loved by a segment of the population no matter what you did or didn't do and would idolize you generations to come.

You'd also have a wife and children who loved and adored you, a nice pension after leaving office and as President Clinton has shown, there is some serious money to be made post-Presidency just for giving speeches..
Then again the life he's living this moment.. it will never ever get to be this big or important, even if he wrote a 100 books, made a trillion dollars or was one day elected to the Suprene Court as former President W.H. Taft experienced after he left office around 100yrs ago,

When Obama leaves office in a couple years at 55 years ago, that's the Peak of all peaks.

And suddenly no one really cares what his positions or opinions are on anything..  There's no daily NSA briefing, no meeting with world leaders; no more status as someone in a position to make decisions

He becomes a man with a title.. Former President..
Some adjust well to it.. Others do not..

But all President will experience being 'former' at one time or another and once again it can be a psychological burden to think someone will never have the same level of importance in the near future as is possessed this very moment..

Plus of course Obama can never go back to enjoying a private life even if he wished.  Secret Service protection 24/7 until he's old and grey.  Wherever he and the family live post-White House will need to be guarded like Fort Knox..

Do you think you could handle the day to day life of the President?
Which would you choose to replace your life with if you could..

The world famous future Hall of Fame Basketball Champion, the strong, successful business entrepreneur or the person who is currently Commander in Chief and most powerful person in the world?

Or are you someone content in your own skin and happy to be who you are?