Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 8:04 pm

You really didn’t build that.

Not by yourself, anyway, says John Scalzi:

I am financially successful now; I pay a lot of taxes. I don’t mind because I know how taxes helped me to get to the fortunate position I am in today. I hope the taxes I pay will help some military wife give birth, a mother who needs help feed her child, help another child learn and fall in love with the written word, and help still another get through college. Likewise, I am in a socially advantageous position now, where I can help promote the work of others here and in other places. I do it because I can, because I think I should and because I remember those who helped me. It honors them and it sets the example for those I help to help those who follow them.

I know what I have been given and what I have taken. I know to whom I owe. I know that what work I have done and what I have achieved doesn’t exist in a vacuum or outside of a larger context, or without the work and investment of other people, both within the immediate scope of my life and outside of it. I like the idea that I pay it forward, both with the people I can help personally and with those who will never know that some small portion of their own hopefully good fortune is made possible by me.

So much of how their lives will be depends on them, of course, just as so much of how my life is has depended on my own actions. We all have to be the primary actors in our own lives. But so much of their lives will depend on others, too, people near and far. We all have to ask ourselves what role we play in the lives of others — in the lives of loved ones, in the lives of our community, in the life of our nation and in the life of our world. I know my own answer for this. It echoes the answer of those before me, who helped to get me where I am.


  1. Yes, I did built (sic) that.

    Comment by Roch — Thursday, July 26, 2012 2:19 am @ 2:19 am

  2. I left the following comment: “I am certain that the many taxpayers and/or donors who made UNC Greensboro, your medical school and the hospitals where you performed your residency possible, as well as the professors who taught you, appreciate your sincere expression of gratitude.” We’ll see if it survives moderation.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, July 26, 2012 9:16 am @ 9:16 am

  3. You point out the obvious. I just thought it was funny that bad grammar titled a post by someone who is boasting that she is self-made.

    Comment by Roch — Thursday, July 26, 2012 2:10 pm @ 2:10 pm

  4. Since I started doing so much web stuff on a phone rather than a desktop, I’m a lot more forgiving of that stuff. It can happen more easily, and it’s harder to spot when it does.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, July 26, 2012 2:17 pm @ 2:17 pm

  5. You think it was a dypo?

    Comment by Roch — Thursday, July 26, 2012 2:28 pm @ 2:28 pm

  6. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt on it. On the ignorance and/or hypocrisy, not so much, of course. Naturally, Bubba hopped right in, claiming in the same comment that 1) he wasn’t sure what I meant, and 2) what I meant was stupid. Someone needs to let him know that arguing in the alternative works a lot better in court than on the Intertubez.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, July 26, 2012 2:55 pm @ 2:55 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: