Two Friends & Twelve Years
Two close friends graduated from college together twelve years ago. One of them had been his high school valedictorian, received a full-ride university scholarship, and graduated with straight A's. The other was a mediocre student in both high school and college and graduated with a grade point average of 2.67.
This first person had a remarkable drive and a resolve that epitomized mind over body. He was on fire with his Yiddishkeit and even taught his less-observant friend how to put on tefillin. Upon graduation, he gained two more Masters degrees as well as an MBA degree. Today, however, he is lonely, unhappy, and working in a job far that is from commensurate with his education. He constantly dreams up new plans for the future to get himself out of his rut but seems to be stuck in the same place year after year. Each day he becomes more embittered at his lot in life and laments his waste of time since college.
The second person was a person who epitomized the path of least resistance. He did not pursue any further formal education, but got a job where he literally worked his way up from the basement to a well-paying desk job. He married a girl from college, bought a house, and together they were blessed with children. He has no other professional aspirations other than to figure out a way to continually make more money by working less hours and without having to manage people. He feels unworthy of all the kindness Hashem has shown him in his life and thanks Hashem each day for the myriad of gifts that have been given to him.
All indications seemed to point to the fact that that this first person would eventually become the successful one. However, today this is not the case and the second person is still scratching his head and trying to understand why.