How Could Life Be So Unfair or Why Did Richard Cory Get All the Luck?

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I curse the day I was born.  I curse my father.  I curse my mother.  I curse my sisters and I curse my brother.

   Oh, I wish that I could be, 

Oh, I wish that I could be

Richard Cory.

 I curse the life I am living.  I curse my name.  I curse my shame.  I curse the day I came.

 Oh, I wish that I could be,

Oh, I wish that I could be

Richard Cory.

 I curse my poverty.  I curse my mediocrity.  I curse my inability.  I curse my fate and my biology.

 Oh, I wish that I could be,

Oh, I wish that I could be

Richard Cory.

 No doubt many of you will know Richard Cory.  For those who don’t know him formally, I am sure you know him personally.  He is that person we all want to be.  He is rich, famous and good looking.  He is popular, likable and a wonderful human.  He is on everyone’s list of most:  most eligible, most likely to succeed, most likely to be president, most likely to be remembered.  We all know a Richard Cory.  We all have someone we dream we could change places with.

The papers print his picture almost everywhere he goes: 
Richard Cory at the opera, Richard Cory at a show. 
And the rumor of his parties and the orgies on his yacht! 
Oh, he surely must be happy with everything he’s got.

Oh, I wish that I could be, 

Oh, I wish that I could be

Richard Cory.

Why did God forget me?  Why was I not born wonderful, magical and fantastic?  Why does everyone else get the breaks?  What does he/she have that I don’t have?  Why couldn’t I be rich?  How come I am not famous?

 Oh, I wish that I could be, 

Oh, I wish that I could be 

Richard Cory.

Life’s not fair.  It has never been fair.  What did I do to deserve this kind of a life?  Why did I get a bunch of losers for friends and relatives?  If only things had been different.  I never had a chance.  It’s not right.  Everybody was always picking on me.  Even Mom and Dad never really liked me.  I hate everyone.  If only I could start my life over again.  Things would be different.

I curse the heavens above.  I curse the purgatory where I may go.  I curse the hells below.  I curse the places that might exist but none alive will ever know.

 Oh, I wish that I could be, 

Oh, I wish that I could be 

Richard Cory.

 What might I have been if things had worked out differently?  Where did I go wrong?  Why did fate deal me a stacked deck?  Why did so many bad things happen to me?  Why Lord? Why?  Why did thou hate me so much?

 Oh, I wish that I could be, 

Oh, I wish that I could be

Richard Cory.

Maybe you know how this story ends?  I worked in Richard Cory’s factory.  I had a wife who loved me and three young children who grew up healthy and happy.  I lived to a ripe old age.  I died in my sleep one night surrounded by my loved ones and several good friends.  I was never rich in material things but I was blessed with an abundance of spiritual goods.  I did not realize how many blessings I had until the angel took my hand to take me away.  I tried to speak out then and bless everyone for being so kind and loving to me, but it was too late.  The angel said that it was always that way with humans.  We think everyone has it better than us and that the grass is always greener next door.  I only wish I knew then what I know now.  I hope it’s not too late for you.

And he was rich – yes, richer than a king –

And admirably schooled in every grace:

In fine, we thought that he was everything

To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head. 

Some of the lyrics above are taken from Simon and Garfunkel’s Richard Cory, while some are taken from the poem “Richard Cory” by the original writer Edwin Arlington Robinson.  This poem was published in 1897.  The lyrics in the song differ from the lyrics in the poem. 

 Time for Questions:

Why did Richard Cory kill himself?  Do you ever covet your neighbor’s wife?  Why?  Have you ever cursed the life you have?  Why?  What blessings have you been given that you most commonly ignore or take for granted?  Why?  Are you happy?  Why or why not?  If not, what would make you happy?

Life is just beginning.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Fred Broussard
    Jan 11, 2014 @ 09:09:25

    Cory was rich; dressed like a prince and drove a white caddy convertible. His girl was the most beautiful of our college cheer leaders. We all wanted what he had. They married; he died a few months later. We all learned a lesson.

    Thanks for the memory..and a reminder of that lesson from so long ago.

    Reply

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