Monday, February 20, 2017

The Elevator of Success

If you have done well, it is your job to send the elevator back down.

                                                                                                -Kevin Spacey

I like this thought-provoking quote from Kevin Spacey! Partly because it brings up other thought-provoking questions. Clearly I’m obsessed at the moment with reflecting on and revealing the moral crisis at the heart of the political crisis, so bear with me. But for those who made it to the top floor, I ask the following:

How did you get on the elevator in the first place? Hard work only or some privilege you inherited but didn’t earn? What about luck? Being in the right place at the right time when the doors just happened to open and the elevator wasn’t full?

Who wasn’t allowed on the elevator? Who tried to get on, but it was always full with the same kind of people? Who took the stairs? Who was even denied access to the stairs?

Who held the doors open for others? Who closed the doors when there was still room?  Who farted in the elevator and pretended it wasn’t him or her? Who pushed all the buttons just because?

Who got out at the top and didn’t press 1? Who put something in the door to stop it from going back down? Who cut the cables? Who locked the doors to the stairway? Why did they do that?

Who never got to the penthouse, but lived a full and rich life on the first floor? Who stayed high in the tower and lost touch with the earth and the people below? What will you do if the elevator gets stuck and you didn’t choose the people on board with you? How will you finally talk to each other and figure out what to do together?

And most important of all. Who knows any good elevator jokes?

PS My most hilarious moment on an elevator was on with an old-fashioned emergency phone that started ringing. Everyone looked away pretending nothing was happening and finally I said, “Is anyone going to answer it?” More staring at the walls so I answered it. “Hello? Who? Well, you called an elevator, but I’ll ask,” then turned to the 10 people and asked, “Is anyone here named Scott? “ Finally, some of the folks began to laugh. “No, try again with the crowd going up. Good luck!” 

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