The Question Is Why?

Throughout your life you have heard the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”   Indeed, the stories of simple men and women rising from rags to riches are now so commonplace that, unless there is sex or violence involved, they bore us. History is filled with them. Coco Chanel was a poor orphan girl raised by nuns. Ralph Lauren grew up poor in the Bronx, the son of an impoverished Russian immigrant. Andrew Carnegie’s father brought him to the United States with only the clothes on his back. Oprah Winfrey was abused as a child and raised in poverty.   Tyler Perry was so poor he had to live on the streets while he was working on his first play. Howard Schultz, the founder of the Starbucks empire grew up poor in Brooklyn.

The question of how they did it has been answered over and over in their biographies and autobiographies, articles and interviews. Movies have been made about them. But one question few, if any, people ask is why.   Why were they able to do it?   Why were they able to see the opportunities and solutions that were invisible to others? From a purely biological point of view, we all have essentially the same kinds of brains and the same kinds of eyeballs.

Yet Rosie saw what everyone around her missed. She saw treasure where others literally saw trash. But why? The “how” is interesting. The “why” is profound.