The Gratitude of Bryan Cranston
By Bryan Caplan
Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston knows the secret of happiness: gratitude.
I think if you believe in past
lives, I must have been an extremely deprived being. I must have been
mistreated, beaten, and forced into indentured servitude because this life has
just been phenomenal. I don’t know and I don’t know why. I think,
and I mean this sincerely, I was raised humbly. We were a lower middle
income family and a household that was scrimping by at times. We were
watching the dollar, stretching the dollar, and coupons. It was all those
things. That was my life as a kid and because of that most kids from that
real blue collar upbringing can’t develop a sense of entitlement. There
is just no way because you are living from day to day. So I take that
blue collar work into my life as an adult. All of these things come to me
like these opportunities, financial securities, and artistic awards. I’m
thinking, “Wow!” Every time it happens I’m thinking, “I won again?!
Unbelievable!” So I don’t expect it. I’m certainly appreciative of
it, but I just don’t have that sense of entitlement. I don’t think life
owes me anything and the business doesn’t owe me anything. The only way
to approach it is by working hard and loving what you do. If you do that
and have faith, maybe you will get lucky. I mean that sincerely and
specifically. I truly believe that no professional career in the arts is
capable without a healthy dose of luck.
Contrast Cranston with some miserable folks Paul Krugman knows:
I know quite a few academics who have nice houses, two cars, and
enviable working conditions, yet are disappointed and bitter
men–because they have never received an offer from Harvard and will
probably not get a Nobel Prize. They live very well in material terms,
but they judge themselves relative to their reference group, and so they
HT: David Henderson, for the Krugman quote.