I don’t have credentials like some people have. I don’t have any kind of family pedigree or status in the community. I’ve never been much of an athlete, and I lack manual dexterity and coordination. For example, I wouldn’t be able to parallel park or roller skate if my life depended on it. I didn’t get any of the genes that produce physical attractiveness. I’m not very assertive, and I often fail to stand up for myself or anyone else. I’ve never learned the secret of dressing well. I’m not artistic in the least, and the concept of tasteful decorating is completely foreign to me.
I’m an intelligent guy (I graduated in the top ten percent of my high school graduating class) but I don’t have a four-year college degree. I don’t have any musical talent. I’m not mechanically inclined and I am unable and unwilling to save money by being a do-it-yourselfer. I’m not a slick talker or schmoozer. I wouldn’t be able to sell ice in hell. I don’t seem to have much common sense when it comes to some of the most basic aspects of life. I’ve never been in the military, so I don’t have strangers fawning over me or thanking me on a daily basis, as is the fad today. And I’ve never had the courage to do anything that is risky or dangerous.
Now that I’ve gotten all of that out of the way, let me tell you about the credentials I do have. Every car I’ve ever owned was completely paid for by me, including all the payments, insurance, and gas. How many people from my generation can say that? Likewise, I’ve never had any help buying or maintaining a home. All the funds for every home that I have owned have come completely from my own pocket. That’s money that I, and no one else, earned by working. Again, how many people who grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s can say that?
I have a credit score that most people can only dream about. It got that way because I have always paid my bills on time and have never filed for bankruptcy or tried to dodge any legal financial obligation. In order words, if I owe it, I pay it promptly – no games. I never pay credit card interest. I pay my credit card balances off at the end of every billing cycle, no matter how big those balances might be. Credit card companies pay me to use their cards, not the other way around. I’ve never been delinquent or late paying my taxes, nor have I ever had to ask for an extension. I always pay them well ahead of time.
Because of my savings habits, I’ve never had to live paycheck to paycheck. Even during one stretch when I was out of work for six months, I didn’t miss a beat on any of my payments on anything. No one would have guessed that I was unemployed. I’ve never had to rely on or accept charity since I’ve been an adult. I’ve never been in trouble with the law. I’ve never even had to pay a fine. I don’t make a habit of having to appear in a court of law, other than for jury duty. I vote in every election and primary, regardless of whether or not I am enthusiastic about the candidates or issues. I’ve never done illegal drugs, nor have I been addicted to any legal drug, including alcohol.
So, you see, I do have some credentials that I’m very proud of. And they are not easy to achieve. Otherwise, everyone would have them.