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Please keep Everything in perspective
Old 10-28-2008, 06:12 AM   #1
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Please keep Everything in perspective

With the market tanking, the housing bubble burst, and fear abounding in all that we read, see and hear, it is easy to get caught up in it all and lose perspective. A colleague of mine who was an extremely successful orthodontist- who seemingly had it all- just committed suicide on Friday night. I'm dumfounded by what has happened.

Please do not lose sight of things.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:22 AM   #2
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Wow - wowee - yes, perspective is good. Money isn't everything and I believe Victor Frankl said that one always has a last choice, one chooses one's reaction and attitude to one's situation. Victor Frankl was a Nazi death camp survivor.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:35 AM   #3
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a friend of mine forwarded this email to me, supposedly written by David Letterman......



David Letterman wrote this; it's the David we don't often see...

' As most of you know I am not a President Bush fan, nor have I ever been, but this is not about Bush, it is about us, as Americans, and it seems to hit the mark.

'The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right?

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the President. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What are we so unhappy about?''

A.. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?

B.. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?

C.. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?

D.. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?

F.. Or possibly the hun dreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?

G.. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough either.

H. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.

J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and your belongings.

K.. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.

L.. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

M.. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world?

Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the President who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad? Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day. Make no mistake about it.

The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go.. The y are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an 'other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans?

Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by 'justifying' them in one way or another Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way......Insane!

Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.' 'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, 'Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

David Letterman
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:39 AM   #4
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Nice sentiment but according to Snopes this letter was written by neither Jay Leno (in 2007) nor by Letterman in 2008.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:05 AM   #5
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Nice sentiment but according to Snopes this letter was written by neither Jay Leno (in 2007) nor by Letterman in 2008.
does Snopes say who did? got a link?
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:24 AM   #6
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novaman, I am so sorry to hear about your colleague's suicide! You must feel pretty stunned after learning of this. There is nothing, NOTHING worth killing ourselves over in my opinion. But so often we get caught up in our emotions, sometimes with disastrous results as in this case. How sad.

I have a comment on the essay, even though it wasn't written by Letterman. Yes, as Americans we have more than many others who are struggling to survive in third world countries. But we also have more to lose, and that sometimes causes us to worry and stress out. Life is short enough as it is so let's appreciate each moment, no matter what our emotions may be.
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:54 AM   #7
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does Snopes say who did? got a link?
I agree, nice sentiment.

Snopes credits Craig Smith.

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Old 10-28-2008, 10:02 AM   #8
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That is so sad, Novaman--just so sad. The loss of hope imho is worse than the loss of "real" things, and is something a lot of us have to guard against every day.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:06 PM   #9
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Maybe all those things just give us very high expectations?

When a country is extremely poor or extremely corrupt or illiberal it's difficult for an average person there to imagine how to turn things around.. while in a richer, freer country people can easily see that there are resources that could be managed better still, and many people ask themselves why Americans need to be homeless or w/o health ins., for example, why we have 25% of the world's prison population, or why we need to invade/occupy Iraq.

Some families think their kids getting Bs and Cs in school is no big deal; to other families even an A- is shameful. We should be trying to keep our GPA high.. nothing wrong with that.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:07 PM   #10
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I listen to Dave Ramsey podcasts a few days a week on my commute, and he often comments on the loss of hope and what a killer it is.

I am so sorry about your friend, Novaman, and I will be sure to listen more attentively to my friends and associates for indications of that same loss of hope. Sad.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:20 PM   #11
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why we have 25% of the world's prison population
Could it be because Americans are - gasp - more violent than, say, the Canadians, Europeans, or the Japanese? I don't know about 3rd world countries because law enforcement may be nearly non-existent to even have statistics.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:24 PM   #12
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I think part of it has to do with mandatory jail sentencings, and the obsession with drug crimes and minor possession. Also, there was a big jump in prison population along with the push for jail privatization.

When putting people in jail became profitable, oddly enough more people started to get put in jail. Ya need raw material for the system. Funny how that works.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:39 PM   #13
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VERY sorry to hear about your colleague Novaman....I was actually just having a similar conversation with my in-laws - stating that for the 1st time in my life, I could actually understand just how some of this happened during the Great Depression....just looking at the name of that time in history - seems they got it right - both for the financial condition of the day as well as the mental condition of a lot of folks.

....and I LOVE the supposed Letterman email.....I have just forwarded it to all that I know in hopes that they will take a moment to reflect on all that is good in our lives....

Gonna go hug my DW and 16 y/o now....

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:56 PM   #14
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Thanks for the post, novaman. Sorry for your loss.
We all need to be reminded occasionally that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
As one with suicide in the family history (during the Great Depression), I try to pay extra attention to those in my circle who mention the possibility. They are probably serious. A supportive word or deed can go a long way.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:19 PM   #15
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Toofrugalformycat wrote,
>As one with suicide in the family history (during the Great Depression), I try to pay >extra attention to those in my circle who mention the possibility. They are probably >serious. A supportive word or deed can go a long way.

I second this, for, at 2 different times in my life, I have been told by someone that talking to me, when they were at the end of their rope, kept them from killing themselves. The first person was a lovely girl I knew in college; I never suspected she had the slightest reason to be unhappy. The second was a former college friend of spouse's, who called up out of the blue (after 30 years), drunk and nearly incoherent, and reached me instead of spouse (who was sleeping). I talked to him for about 45 minutes, got him calmed down, and later learned he'd been on the verge of eating his .38.

As for something to give us perspective, during the recent boom years, I read a heartbreaking series of newspaper articles about American families who were so hungry, the kids were bringing home their charity food from school on the weekends, so the adults at home could have something to eat. I wonder how much greater the U.S. hunger problem is going to be, now that people will probably be giving less to charity.
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:03 AM   #16
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Sorry about your friend, novaman. My faculty advisor made a point of giving us a lecture about why suicide is a tragedy. His premise:

"It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem"..........
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:43 PM   #17
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I think part of it has to do with mandatory jail sentencings, and the obsession with drug crimes and minor possession. Also, there was a big jump in prison population along with the push for jail privatization.

When putting people in jail became profitable, oddly enough more people started to get put in jail. Ya need raw material for the system. Funny how that works.
This should be a Soapbox rant response. You have a conspiracy for everything, don't you?

Novaman, sorry for your loss. It does put things in perspective. No matter how bad things are, no matter how worked up we get over the economy, politics, or personal issues, they just aren't worth it when you hear stories like this.
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:11 AM   #18
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WS.. I didn't mean to hi-jack the thread... I was responding to NW-Bound. Perhaps I should not have responded here.

Novaman and his acquaintance's family may never know exactly what brought the orthodonist to this "ultimate gesture".

I appreciate novaman's posting that cautions us to appreciate what we do have.
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