I'm 44 years old. I work every day. And I don't have next months rent. It's not really what I imagined for myself when I was 23 years old and performing alongside and writing for Jay Leno, Bill Maher, Dennis Miller, Jeff Foxworthy, Rodney Dangerfield and Richard Pryor. I had more money than I needed back then. But I don't have next months rent. And it is a very low rent...$500.
Frankly, I blame my job. It's a very bad job and I love it quite a lot. I'm a charity worker. I represent Orphans. There are 18 million of these kids. I have $400 in the bank.
And even though I do not have next months rent. I have a life that would seem unimaginably wonderful to the kids I represent. I own a car. I have a 12 year old son that is robust mentally and physically. And there is so much food in even a poor man's refrigerator in America that both my son and I are fat. (By Ethiopian standards.)
Even though I feel I only have $400 in the bank. I am $400 ahead of the richest of my Orphans. And they are counting on me.
Heck, I possess a refrigerator. The kids I know can barely even imagine ever owning a fridge. My fridge, the fridge of a poor man, is filled with whatever medicine I or my child MIGHT need. These children, just a continent or a border away, die because they don't have medicines they DO need.
My Son and I have both heat and air, blankets aplenty, 3 pillows, a computer, TV, wealth of music, sports balls everywhere, safe places to play, a king size mattress when we're tired and I swear to you...LIFE IS GOOD.
I realize that this phrase may be trademarked and registered but let me repeat...LIFE IS GOOD.
I am rich. Because no matter what happens I cannot worry because I represent Orphans. I have nothing to fear. I can take on Billionaires or drug companies or governments because I do something simple and correct. I represent Orphans.
I have a friend of over 22 years in L.A. named Jim. I met him in the first weeks I did stand-up comedy. I convinced him to start writing for TV because I was doing it and found it to be easy money.
For 10 years, Jim has been a writer/producer for Dennis Miller and last year did the same for David Spade. Jim has won Emmy's and Golden Globe Awards for his writing but much more importantly, Jim is as decent and good a Soul as I have ever known. Jim is even good to shallow and mean spirited people. Something that amazes me.
At this moment, Jim is out of work and so he happily does odd jobs that he finds on "Craig's List" like working as a house mover for the day or fixing someones lawn spinklers. Right now, he has steady work picking up trash and it doesn't seem to bother him at all. When someone calls him to be a comedy writer again, he will probably do it, I imagine. But for now, he is picking up trash...making the world a slightly better and cleaner place. And he continues to be nice to shallow and mean people.
Whenever, I am in a jam, I think "WWJD?". No, not "What Would Jesus Do?" but "What Would Jim Do? and since Jim would pick up trash, I will happily work as a painter or bag groceries next month until I can figure a more effective way to represent Orphans.
I cannot worry about how I lost my business, or how I will pay for Gabriel's college education when it comes or how I will ever be able to afford the woman that I will love. I'm 44 years old and somehow I have always paid for these things. It's the beauty of America. Keep working and you will not fall between the cracks. This is not the reality for the Orphans that I represent.
It's not as if I just started this game today. I am over 4 years into representing Orphans. I have been as helpful as I could and will be more helpful in the future. And somehow, I know that I will meet next months rent and every month after that. And these Orphans will continue to see me as remarkably rich and powerful.
I have my dignity and children that need me and all the people that care about them behind us.
My petty worries are just that. Petty worries. These Orphans come first.
I'm 44 years old. And I am rich.