“I Read the News Today, Oh Boy!”

Thoughts evolving from “Struggling to Understand”

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press August 17, 2014

IGHGrampa writes about ‘struggling to understand issues of Life (and death)’.  He reflects upon the suicide of Robin Williams saying he had everything a person could possibly want, so how could he possibly want to take his life?  Perhaps he has a point, but, many would ask, who is to judge?  This point of view reminds me once when I actually took the attitude that if someone wants to kill themselves, it is alright. Today, I think twice before making this judgement and it all stems back to when Someone somewhere, when I lived in Nebraska, had taken their life.  I don’t remember who they were, but it was someone a coworker of mine and I were talking about one day at a cafe, or bar.  What I do remember is my conversation with this very attractive blond girl, younger than myself. I really liked this girl a lot.  In reference to this suicide, I said something to the effect that, it was this person’s decision to do what they wanted with their life, whether it was to continue on, or end it by their own hands.  What will never leave my memory is this girl’s totally unexpected and strong reaction to my statement.  With her steel blue eyes, she looked me in the eyes and told me point blank; “It’s wrong!”  She was adamant and unwavering in her statement, and went on to say that it was a totally selfish act and that this person had no regard for the feelings of others around him or her.  She was so fixed in her opinion that it truly made me stop and think about the act of suicide.  To this day, I respectfully think of the proud and moral position this girl took and I admire her still for standing her ground on an issue that many people were, and still are wishy washy about.  Furthermore, she was young, in the late 70’s, a time when, ‘everything goes’.  Today, I shame myself for not having a stronger spine and for following the opinion of the flock. At the same time, I am thankful that this girl stepped into my life, if only for a short time.  Like a few people in my life, she is gone, maybe living, but out of my radar.

Going back to the article, IGHGrampa goes on to talk about ‘the struggle’ so to speak. He makes reference to the main character of the movie ‘Precious’ a woman who seems to insurmountable problems.  He writes about the struggle by astronomers to acquire knowledge and an understanding of how the planets and stars are formed, the forces of existence itself.

Pondering these struggles, Grampa remarks on his own trivial struggles and that ‘sometimes you just have to put the struggles aside for a time.’  He even works on his own little projects in his workshop to help remove himself from the larger struggles of the world.  Or he likes to simply listen to classical music, to escape.  His final statement makes so much sense to me; that perhaps the key to living is to ‘make an effort to remove oneself from the struggle, to understand’.

His final words make so much sense to me and brings me back to the struggle to choose life or death, and what is right and what is wrong.  Maybe there is something that can be done for these people who find themselves alone in a moment of desperation and prevent them from hurting themselves and others.  To help them to make an effort to ‘remove themselves from the struggle and carry on in this world of life and death.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 The Hartford Courant

Two noteworthy persons passed away.

HEADLINES

Keyboardist, co-founder of British band Deep Purple Reuters

Jon Lord 1941-2012.  I hadn’t heard of Jon Lord by name but I have heard of the band Deep Purple which he co-founded and with whom he played the keyboard.  He was the author of many songs such as “Smoke on the Water”.   Noted for ‘pioneering the fusion of rock and orchestral music.  Deep Purple played with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London in 1969 in the Royal Albert Hall.  Lord was born in Leicester, England.  He died of pancreatic cancer on July 16th.

Stephen Covey 1932-2012  Author’s ‘7 Habits’ became business world must-read by Laura Zuckerman

Covey was 80 years old when he died of complications from a bicycle accident he had in April.  He wrote several books on how to be ‘highly effective’ and successful in life. His most famous book is “7 Habits”.  This book outlined 7 habits for being successful in business: 1) Be proactive 2) Begin with the end in mind 3) Put first things first 4) Think win win 5) Seek first to understand, then to be understood 6) Synergize and 7) Sharpen the Saw (take care of yourself).  Sounds like good advice!  Covey had an MBA from Harvard and a doctorate from Brigham Young University.  He had 9 children and 40 grandchildren.  He died with his family by his side singing hymns to him.

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