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The Conscious Capitalist

When I was in grammar school back in NY one of my favorite times of the week was when the weekly reader was delivered. I went to a standard issue catholic school, complete with nuns wearing the austere habits that made them look like penguins. So classes were generally a mix of memorization and tests, but all in all it was a great education.

I share that because the weekly reader was to me a blast of fresh air in the midst of a dry desert. It was a comic book called Treasure Chest and it was filled with do-gooder stories told in a very entertaining fashion. I would read it cover to cover as quickly as I could, in class under my text book, hoping the nuns wouldn't catch me.

I still remember when they ran a serial story when I was in 5th or 6th grade, 1966, about an unlikely candidate for president, whom they kept in the shadows for the entire year. Who was this man? Remember, it was about 1966 and women's rights were yet to flower.

The fight for civil rights for Negroes (as they were then called) was on the front page of the news almost every day. Riots in the streets were happening all across America. The candidate in the story was quiet yet forceful, and very courageous, willing to stand up for what was right in spite of opposition even within his own team. Naturally he won the election. What a shock to find when the shadows were lifted that the candidate was a tall slim black man! "Wow!," I remember saying to myself, "that's a wildly optimistic perspective to have. Imagine, a black man being President of the United States!"

Maybe I'll go on EBay to see if I can find a copy of that comic book. Do you have any favorite stories that enthralled you as a child? I'd love to hear them and possibly share them with my readers.

Now here I am in 2012, nearing the time of year when I start acknowledging the age of my next birthday, as a way for me to mentally ease into my steadily advancing life. I was born on July 1st, so every January 1st for the past ten years or so I start saying I'm the age I will have attained at my next birthday. So as of this coming January 1st I will be saying I am 60.

60. Some of you reading this will think, old man, others will say, young man. It's all relative. Some will say 60 is the new 40, and they are right. Others will say 60 is over the hill, and they are right too. Just an age, one after the other if we are fortunate.

At 60 I finally feel like I am coming into my own. My mother used to say I had the longest running identity crisis of any one she knew, and she was right. Only it wasn't so much of a crisis as it was a series of discoveries. Boy to man, or at least young adult. Man to husband. Student to fool to student to teacher/fool/student. The perpetual quest for truth and reality, and happiness.

As a man of nearly 60 I am happy to say I've found some peace in what I have learned and am learning. I have been blessed with remarkable teachers all along the way. Some of the best were some of the most unpleasant, and always of my own creation. Self awareness is a b-tch.

Mr. Market has been one of the more unforgiving teachers; one's mistakes in recognizing Mr. Market's moods means months if not years of re-education, and re-dedication to discovering self-worth.

It is my hope in this blog to share some of that learning, to make it as entertaining as that childhood comic book, and to somehow make your own journey along the road to prosperity and self-discovery a fruitful and happy adventure.