This article was originally written on August 12, 2011 by Bill Bixby. Enjoy.
All men questioned in this survey answered with the promise of anonymity. These are real answers from real men.
Answers from men: What is life all about?
This man is a partner in his own practice. He practiced general medicine, but is now specializing in kidneys.
General Physician: May not make for a good article, but I believe that we were put on this Earth to gain knowledge and learn the lesson of loving God and our neighbors as we love ourselves. And the beginning of knowledge is fear and respect of God. A lot of our day to day worries are otherwise pretty meaningless. Check out Proverbs and Ecclesiastics, ‘there is nothing new under the sun…all is vanity.’
AFM: I’m going to put it to print. Is there anything that you want to say that’s a little more secular?
Gen Phy: Yeah, kiss my ass. Is that secular enough for you? Just kidding. I like Will Rogers’ take on it. You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run. That’s all I got.
AFM: Who is Will Rogers?
Gen Phy: Isn’t that the country singer’s name?
AFM: You mixed together Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers. It is Kenny Rogers’ song, “The Gambler.”
Gen Phy: Haha! Damn right. Guess I just lost all my credibility. I am going to be quiet now. I’m sure whatever you write will be good.
AFM: Well, this one is straight forward, there is no artistic license on this one. I asked everyone the same question that I asked you. How do you mix God with science? It seems that a person like you who has seen death and life would be less likely to be religious.
Gen Phy: Actually, it is what I see from day to day concerning life and death that confirms my faith. I have seen some true miracles. One day, I will have to share them with you.
AFM: Okay, thanks.
This man is in his early seventies. He was one of the biggest pimps in the Houston area from the seventies into the nineties. At his height, he had more than twenty women working for him.
Former Pimp: This whole thing is about the three P’s. That shit got popular with that rapper Nas, but everybody in the game has been saying it for years. Life is all about Power, Paper, and Pussy.
FP: Have you seen The Mack?
AFM: Yeah, I’ve seen it.
FP: It’s all true. First, you get the money, then you get the power, and then you choose which women you want. You see, once you’re sitting on a little bit of cash, people start to notice you. You get a reputation. When people know who you are the second you enter a room…when they notice you as soon as you walk in the door, then you know you’ve got a little pull. And women can’t resist that. They’re drawn to that. They’re drawn to you. See, people think that every guy that makes money in the game is a fast-talking motherfucker. When you do it right, you almost never have to talk to a woman. They choose you. I don’t miss a lot about what I used to do when I was in the game. I don’t miss the cars. I have enough money to live, but that power ain’t like nothing else in this world. When I walked in a room at the height of my game, I knew that I could have anyone or anything I wanted in the room.
AFM: Then, why did you leave the game? It seemed like you were on top of the world. Why would you leave that?
FP: Man, the same old story. I got caught up in some other things and had to go away for a little while. You know, while I was in there, I thought about everything and when I got out, I didn’t see everything the same way that I did before. When you’re away you see and hear things that change you. You hear some guys that were pretty bad on the streets crying every night in their cell. You see squares get strung out on dope. You see a lot of different things in there. And all you have is time, so you reevaluate some things.
AFM: So, did you understand life in the same way before you went away?
FP: Nah, man. Before I did my time, I was just getting my paper. Understand? The game is fast and if you ain’t on the corner, then you’re losing money.
AFM: And money gets you power which gets you the women.
FP: That’s right.
This man is in his early thirties. He has been a pharmacist for the last ten years, and speaks at colleges and forums on pharmacy.
Pharmacist: In all your ways, acknowledge the Lord and He will direct your path.
AFM: Can you expound?
Pharm: At home, even out with the guys, put God first and He will take care of you. Even if you don’t want to do something, do it as if you were doing it for Him.
AFM: Is life really that simple for you? There has to be conflicts that warrant more than a trust God motto, right? How do you know that he is there and how does that relate to life?
Pharm: (Be)cause we talk to each other. It relates to life (be)cause having a best friend who also happens to be God helps you to make decisions, love others – even though they don’t deserve it – , and to have joy…even in the midst of a storm.
AFM: I’m not sure if I can use that. That sounds a little fanatical, which is good in your life, but not necessarily in an article. And of course you and the physician gave a religious answer.
Pharm: (laughing)Well, it’s definitely not the majority answer. You can say instead, “Just try not kill someone. And, if you ignore stuff long enough, it usually goes away or fixes itself.” Lastly, don’t take yourself too seriously or too lightly.
AFM: I’ll go with that. Thanks
This man is in his fifties and newly retired. He worked an upper management job at one of the biggest and most trusted companies in the world.
Retired Businessman and Millionaire: To me, life is an anthology of one’s spiritual, mental, physical being here on Earth. Living up to and exceeding one’s expectations of themselves will produce happiness, sadness, and sorrow as one seeks quality along the way.
AFM: How does meeting and exceeding your expectations lead to happiness and sadness and sorrow?
RBM: Everyone in their lifetime will go through those moods. Once you have done that, you will return to a point in life where happiness becomes the ultimate. From birth to death
AFM: I don’t think that I’m there yet.
RBM: (laughing out loud) You have many moons ahead of you.
AFM: I sure hope so. Thanks