The media are full of the financial melt downs and ways the Midases are saving one another's asses. We tiny little watchers can only sigh or rage or shake our heads. But today's paper had the annual list of MacArthur Prize winners -- reason to rejoice for twent-five people who have put their hearts, souls and minds into something they love, become very good at it, whether in the arts, the sciences or other fields. They did not apply for the prize. I'm told they don't even know they're being considered [although I'm a bit cynical and wonder if that's true]. At any rate, they are people with a passion and purpose in life -- not to get rich, not to join some rat race but to do work that is challenging and exciting. And they have been recognized with the prize which is a totally unrestricted $100,000 for the next five years.
We know that many lottery winners do not do well with their sudden wealth. But I have read of previous MacArthur winners who were, for the first time in a life of hard work, able to purchase a house, able to attend conferences in their field, able to give up a pay-the-rent job and concentrate on their art or scholarship. I did not recognize any of the names in the list, but that is not important, those with recognizable names are mostly earning reasonable amounts of money. These are deservedly lucky people and this is a bright spot in a dismal world too focused on money for it's own sake.
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