If everybody you love is in trouble, are you okay?
I have been giving this question a great deal of thought lately. The answer seems like the solution to at least one puzzle of the human condition. I am fine. But there is divorce, unemployment, illness. Now - speaking personally - I am happily married, comfortably retired and as healthy as an old battered athlete can be. But I can't help feeling somewhat sad about the trials and tribulations of some loved ones. I wish life was easier for them. I truly do.
The front page of today's newspaper proclaims JOBLESS ARE IN THE CROSSHAIRS To pay for a tax cut for businesses, A House bill would cut benefits. Florida - The Banana Republic of the USA - already ranks 46th among the 50 states re the most anybody can receive at $275 a week. Only 23% of the state's unemployed even receive benefits currently. It's already more than twice as difficult to even qualify here.
The rich and the powerful are doing just fine, I might add.
My aged mother has been in re-hab for 15 weeks. Yesterday, she had her third operation in three months, bringing the number on that one leg alone to 10 or 11. So many we have lost count. This morning, she awoke with a new knee. She hopes it's good for "at least two or three years." I feel the same way about her.
If people you don't know are in grave danger, are you safe? Perturbed by the state news, I turn on MSNBC and, lo and behold, there's live footage from Japan as a Tsunami of biblical proportions washes away countless lives and billions of dollars.
A bad card on the river? A lost internet connection? You ran out of beer? Puhleeeze.
The next time you are feeling low, down on how tough your life is, take a look around you. A long look. A distant look.
Put your problems in perspective and - more often than not - they won't really seem like problems. A traffic bump perhaps for today, but nothing upon which to squander energy.