Perhaps the most simultaneously exciting and terrifying prospect for any person in utero is the idea that we humans have absolutely no control over the environment into which we will be born.
For nine months, the human baby waits in anticipation, not knowing whether it will be born into wealth or into poverty, into a loving home or into a house of squalor, into the affluent arms of Brangelina or into the equally affluent but tattooed arms of Britney and K-Fed.
The most mind-blowing part of this process is that its outcome will likely determine the direction of the rest of a person’s life.
Whether we like to admit it or not, life expectancy, potential wealth and income, and even personality are heavily influenced by where we are born.
In my case, and, according to a recent article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, in the cases of about 80% of my fellow Philadelphians, our birth location also determines where we will live for much of our lives and where we will die.
This is, in short why I live where I live: I was born here and love the familiarity of the City of Brotherly Love.
This may seem boring to all you movers and shakers out there who are willing to drop everything to move to Phoenix, Ariz., or Appleton, Wis., or some other “new” city with an electrifying or cute name, but I know what I like and I like what I know.
Where would I spend my Sunday afternoons if I couldn’t speed down I-95 to just barely make the first pitch at Citizens Bank Park?
What neighbors would my rock band drive to the point of insanity if I didn’t live in a neighborhood consisting largely of rowhomes?
How would I gain any sustenance if I lived in a place where residents couldn’t comprehend what “wooder” was, or whether they liked their cheesesteaks “wit” or “witout”?
I’m not going to leave the city that gave me all of the character and values that I cherish so dearly, like an undying belief in the underdog or an utter hatred of the Yankees and pretty much all things “New York.”
Then again, I’m only 19, and Paris does seem rather pretty.
For now, though, I live where I live because I was born here, plain and simple.
Ted Bordelon is a student at LaSalle University. Comment on his essay below or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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