In many ways my life is a rags-to-riches story. I was thinking about this recently because I was working on the bio for my author website. The opening line of the bio there reads:
C. R. Wiley’s childhood was like something out of a story by Roald Dahl.
It was full of vacancies, like AWOL parents and school truancy. He was a ward of the state for a time. (Imagine living at the DMV and you have a sense of what that was like.) And he hated the 8th grade so much that he took it twice.
It goes on. If you care to read the rest, just follow the link above.
I don’t spend much time talking about those days. The reason is I’m glad they’re long gone. But there’s another: most people really don’t care.
That’s okay. But it is sort of curious. My personal life is idyllic: my family loves and respects me, my wife and kids are all great and doing well, I’m healthy, my church is flourishing (sure, it has it’s challenges–but that’s life), I’m a published author, I travel and speak, I own real estate investments, I have a lovely home in a tony rural Connecticut town.
But no one cares to learn from me about how they can have those things. In fact, when I used to give advice I got the impression that people found me tedious. So I stopped. I don’t give advice anymore.
I don’t think I’m alone in this.
Just the other day I was with my old real estate investment mentor. He’s getting up there in years. He’s a lot of fun to talk to, he’s full of stories.
He’s a self-made millionaire and an eccentric. He drives a Rolls Royce from the early 70s (seems like it is always in the shop–when it is he drives a white Cadillac from the 60s). He listens to Johnny Cash on his 8-track in the car. He doesn’t own a cell-phone, let alone a smartphone. What he does own is businesses, commercial real estate, and a dairy farm. But it doesn’t seem like many people besides me care to learn from him. I get the sense he may be sort of lonely.
Most people seem to prefer following some guy or gal on Instagram, with their highly filtered and cropped images.
My friend and I look out on a world that gets more messed-up the further it gets from us. We live on little islands of sanity that no one visits. Our lives are well ordered, our homes are at peace, our kids are doing okay. But no one cares to learn. They’re too busy wishing they were some celebrity on social media.
Just in case you’re one of those rare people who would like advice, I wrote a book for you.
If you’d like to know more about my latest book before shelling out your hard-earned money for it, Wipf and Stock, the publisher of my book, Man of the House, has given me permission to share a little sample of the book with you. The hope, of course, is you will like it enough to purchase a copy. Enjoy!.
Click here to download the book excerpt as a PDF: Man of the House_Excerpt