Playing A Fool’s Game



I have this sense (which came upon me when I was young and struggling, and hasn’t left yet) that certain verities (maybe these are especially American verities?) are false and harmful. So: There is no such thing as a “level playing field,” genetics and karma being what they are, and to the extent that we pretend there is such a thing (by conflating wealth with virtue) we are playing a fool’s game, taking credit for that which was given to us (a good family, health, affluence, basic ability, intelligence, et cetera, et cetera) by fate.

—George Saunders, in conversation with David Sedaris, from the paperback edition of Tenth of December