A man sits on a ledge looking out over the water.

You owe me nothing – Michael Morse

by Michael Morse, contributing writer – commentary

If it all came crashing down, and we had to start from scratch; no power, no phones, no pottery, tools or anything, it would take a thousand years to get back to where we are.

Instead of noticing all we have, we choose to want better and more. We covet the things our neighbors have, things like a newer car, bigger home and nicer clothes.

We fight amongst ourselves over politics from the comfort of homes, accuse people who do not see things our way of being dangerous and vile, demand our representatives “do something” about guns and pandemics and racism and equity while free to go about our lives any way we see fit.

The knowledge that work is the key to success eludes us. Other people have more, and it’s not fair. We gravitate to the downtrodden whose lot in life has created an air of sympathy with new laws and rules and societal norms designed to even the playing field.

We forget that we get what we put in, and expect to live life with unearned advantages bestowed upon us because a few people possess unimaginable riches, and we take for granted the miracles at our fingertips – things we can afford that we could never create, yet throw away for newer things on a whim.

We truly believe that happiness and ease of existence is a right, and others are expected to do their part in making our lives care free. Those who possess potential to heal, create and innovate should do so for the betterment of all of us, rather than enriching themselves is the modern way of thinking.

Well, the truth is the greatest motivator ever known is self preservation. We are not slaves to others. We work to better our lives, not to make other people’s lives better. In doing so, other people’s lives do get better, and progress is made, and conveniences such as stores full of affordable goods and food are plentiful.

But we look right past the bounty, and accuse those who created it of being rich, as if that is a bad thing. We think those people owe us something, just for existing.

They owe us nothing.



Michael Morse,, a monthly contributor is a retired Captain with the Providence Fire Department

Michael Morse spent 23 years as a firefighter/EMT with the Providence Fire Department before retiring in 2013 as Captain, Rescue Co. 5. He is an author of several books, most offering fellow firefighter/EMTs and the general population alike a poignant glimpse into one person’s journey through life, work and hope for the future. He is a Warwick resident.


  1. Brian A. Kreizinger on November 6, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    The rich owe the rest of us to play by the same fair taxation rules, not to use their wealth to pass unfair taxation laws to benefit themselves. A flat tax rate for EVERYONE would be far better and fairer to the non-rich than the rigged tax laws that the wealthy have created in this country. Huge corporations that operate in this country are paying little to no taxes also. The middle class is disproportionately footing the bill for the rich and the poor. It all starts with term limits for Congress. Two terms in office and you are out with no pension or benefits for life! Then it will truly be political service serving you’re country instead of the SELF SERVICE that it has been for too long!

  2. gladys+Corvera-+Baker on November 6, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    A very difficult subject , “are we our brother’s keepers” ?
    Sometimes too much help creates dependence.
    It would be good to find a happy medium