Stefanie, you are an inspiration to other young people struggling to make it in our broken system. As such, I hope they can use your story as a roadmap on how to build a life.

But if you are totally honest with yourself, the end of your story arc is closer to lottery winner than the average working stiff. For every person who has made it in the entertainment industry, there are thousands who are still working as waitresses, bartenders and baristas.

I’ve been lucky enough to live in L.A. and pretty much every person I’ve met works a second job, is trying to get the first script sold, or hoping to get their big break. They work just as hard as you do. But they may never get the same breaks you’ve gotten.

Be grateful, because you’ve been blessed.

None of us are truly “self-made.” That is a lie perpetuated by the rich and powerful as a justification for their position.

Think about every part of our lives — public education, Pell grants, the internet, infrastructure, police, firefighters, the armed forces, public health and safety regulators, consumer protections, etc. etc. etc. — that have been paid for by every taxpayer, past and present, and regardless of income level, to create a country that provides so many opportunities to so many people.

Because you are blessed, you can afford to bless others less fortunate than you. Not necessarily with a handout, or even some advice. Just a little compassion.

All of us (aside from the top 1%) are stuck in a system that has been broken for 40 years. It is in the interests of the ruling class to make sure that the clueless Talias (let’s face it, she needs to learn some basic life skills) are attacked by successful people like you and defended by other successful young people like Adriane or George, or Stretch.

Like some other older posters, I look at these flame wars with sadness, because your generation has to unite and take control of your destiny through political action.

This kind of sums it up:

Good luck.

Written by

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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