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Would you rather be rich or grow old?

Updated on January 8, 2011

"I want to live fast, love hard, die young, and leave a beautiful memory" - lyrics from a Faron Young song of the 1950s.


Would you rather be rich and famous but have a short life, like Elvis Presley or Ricky Nelson, or have just an average, or even poor life, but live to a ripe old age?

If you chose the rich and famous, you could have all the luxuries of life - travel, the best food, top entertainment, beautiful or handsome friends, perhaps an adoring public.

But if you made the other choice, you could stick around maybe twice as long. You’d get to see all the changes in this old world, all the new ideas, new technologies, new innovations. You’d get to see your children, your grandchildren, maybe even great grandchildren, grow up, see how they turned out.

A few people are lucky enough to get both - but of course we don’t get to choose.

Rich or poor, famous or unknown, life isn’t fair. It’s a concept some people never recognize. Some of us are born to be tall, strong, smart, handsome or beautiful. Others of us don’t get the good genes, or whatever. Maybe we turn out to just be average, Maybe dumb or ugly. For the few unfortunate, they are born blind, deaf, deformed.

Me, I would have loved to turned out tall and husky with enough athletic ability to excel in any sport I fancied. Instead, I’m 5’7” and a bit of a klutz. On the other hand, most of the "stars" of my high school years - the jocks, the high achievers, the student body presidents, the guys that were the most popular with the girls - are all long since gone to "their final reward", while plain old me is still out here enjoying life.

Bottom line - Nobody gets it all, and we’ve all got to play the cards we were dealt.

If you enjoy nostagia, and if you like motorcycles, you would probaby enjoy my book, OVER THE HANDLEBARS, First published in 1975, then updated and enlarged in 2006, it is a collection of short stories and articles about all aspects of motorcycling. It is available from I also have written two other books about motorcycling availalbe from  You can read all 3 of them on your computer for just $2.99 each. Go to


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    • dongately profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Sana Clarita, California

      I think the 2012 thing is a bunch of poppycock. I did have a time when life sucked - but it passed. No matter how bad things are, there are lots of folks in the world who have it worse. To make a bad joke - "Someone said cheer up, things could get worse, so I cheered up and sure enough, things got worse."

    • belliott profile image


      8 years ago

      I agree with the bottom line. You have to play the cards you are dealt. I have had some bad hands and some great hands along the way and I have discovered that happiness is a choice. You can rise above whatever hand you are dealt. It's important not to let the bad hands rule your whole outlook. Life has ups and downs. I think that goes for the rich and the poor, the old and the young, the famous and the rest of us :o)

    • fereitica profile image


      8 years ago from New Castle, IN

      neat! That is a tough choice for me, though. Because I'm struggling just to find an inbetween... I don't care about being rich or famous (although it might seem nice sometimes), but I'm so poor that my family barely pays the bills. So you're definitely right about one part... LIFE SUCKS! lol. I'm not so sure I want to live really long either, though. I just want to live long enough to see my child grow up and be out on his own (& hopefully successful) but I'm starting to wonder if that's going to be possible with this whole 2012 deal... What do you have to say about that one? Because if it is going to be as bad as it seems, then it may not matter what we really want in life unless it's something we can get in the next 2 years!


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