One of the great small pleasures in life is getting something for free. A free ride, a free meal, a free sample of something cool or expensive, a free day off from school, a free tip from an expert. On the other hand, many people resent others who have been given free gifts from God, the Fates, or whatever is in charge. I’m talking about the resentment felt towards gorgeous fashion models, naturally gifted musicians, athletes, artists, or intellects. We look at those exquisite faces or innate talents and think they didn’t *do* anything to get it. They didn’t work for it, discover it, or develop it— it just happened to be in their chemical makeup from the beginning, like long eyelashes. Yet it allows them a free pass to a world, a special elite, that I’ll never know or experience. How come them and not me? It’s so unfair. Yet if I’m an innately good dancer, or win millions in a contest that costs nothing to enter, do I ask why me and not them? Do I question the unfairness of my new bank account? Rarely.
— Jonathan Carroll