Life, Monetized

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At every step of the way, someone wants a piece of Luke Pease’s wallet. Here’s his Perspective.

The first attempt to extort money from my daughter’s life came three minutes in, when a hospital worker entered the birthing room – uninvited – to snap a picture of our newborn. Upon leaving hospital the next day, we were invited to purchase ‘the first ever picture’ of our baby.

The first credit card offers arrived during elementary school – never too early to experience the burden of debt I suppose – followed quickly by the GATE programs. Your child has been identified as gifted and talented – enroll her in our summer school now. Financing options available.

And then soccer, enjoyed by the poor and shoeless throughout the world, but in the United States monetized by ‘college-bound’ youth teams weighed down with uniforms, warm-up suits, cold weather coats, turf cleats, grass cleats, back packs, tournament fees and multiple professional coaches. And a roster of 20 fee-paying kids for an 11-person game.

Junior year signals the arrival the SATs, and like the first buds of spring, numerous third-party vendors emerge selling costly programs of dubious value to boost your child’s score.


Still, my responsibility is nearly over, my daughter - with perfect teeth - is heading to college, towards independence, towards her own medical bills, and to the joy of paying down student debt.

As I approach the other end of life -- sad to see my daughter leave, but happy see her flourish -- I turn to my laptop screen, where, like vultures on a carcass, my email begins to fill with financing proposals for my funeral - so as ‘not to be a burden on my children’.

With a Perspective, I’m Luke Pease.

Luke Pease is filling his empty hours with paragliding, guitar and learning Mandarin.