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 thatreal 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.