So I'm on my way to work and feeling sorry for myself.
Since we last talked, I turned another year older, my back is killing me again and I'm feeling every bit my age and more.
But then I heard something on the radio and I received a couple emails that made me feel ashamed of my self-pity party I was indulging in.
The gist is "Feeling unappreciated? World got you down? Things got ya down? Well then, consider these..."
An article in The New York Times with the headline: "Worker dead at desk for five days."
This guy, George, 51, was a proofreader at a publishing firm. He use to be the first to work and last to leave, quiet and very absorbed in his work. Apparently he suffered a coronary and died proofreading manuscripts of medical textbooks and sat there dead for five days and no one noticed. It was an office cleaner who asked him why he was working on a Saturday and when didn't get a response, discovered the poor man was dead.
The article suggested that we may want to give our co-workers a nudge every once in a while and not to work too hard because nobody notices anyway. (Now I don't advise that last part or we might become one out of every 10 people currently unemployed. But a nudge now and then can't hurt.)
Did you know that the average cost of rehabilitating a seal after the Exxon Valdez Oil spill in Alaska was $80,000? Then at a special ceremony, two of those saved seals, at a cost of $160,000, were released back into the ocean. As onlookers cheered and applauded, right in front of them, a killer whale ate them both.
How about the woman who came home to find her husband in the kitchen shaking frantically, in a dancing frenzy with some kind of wire running from his waist toward the electric kettle. She wanted to jolt him away from the deadly current so she whacked him with a handy plank of wood. She broke his arm in two places, saving him from happily listening to his Walkman.
Not bad enough yet?
How about two animal rights defenders protesting the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn, Germany when suddenly all two thousand pigs broke loose and escaped through a broken fence, stampeding madly and trampled the two protesters to death?
Talk about ironic.
Then there was the Iraqi terrorist Khay Rahnajet who didn't pay enough postage on a letter bomb. It came back with "Return to Sender" stamped on it and forgot it was the bomb, opened it and was blown to bits.
The email asks, "Feeling better now?"
OK, don't label me a sadist because I laughed at these. I'm not laughing at death or the misfortunes of someone else. They're funny because they're so ironic. Although I gotta tell you, the last one about the terrorist sounds like poetic justice to me.
These definitely put a damper on my pity party.
The next email was a video of U.S. Soldiers and Marines who work in horrid conditions in the Middle East and still manages to keep their sense of humor. They rewrote the words to the popular Beach Boys song, "A Place called Kokomo" and features several soldiers singing and showing off the many "fun attributes" of their duties. It starts out in the catchy beat of "Croatia, Albania, somewhere near Romania... Somewhere far overseas, there's a place called Kosovo..."
Very cute. But it doesn't hide the fact that these servicemen and women would rather be home than far away in harm's way. Serving for all of us here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
The segment on the radio was a caller responding to all the news of backups and accidents that turned segments of routes 33, 78 and 22 into parking lots. She said, "For all those stuck in traffic this morning, just remember how much better off you are than the people in Haiti."
Ahhh. Puts things in perspective, don't you think?
I am so grateful that the Lord puts these things before me whenever I start to feel sorry for myself. And after all these years, you'd think I'd get use to Him doing that but I'm still amazed at His timing.
So, I hope if you were in the midst of a pity party for yourself before you read this, it helped put some things in perspective for you, too.
If not, think about how lucky you were not to be in a hospital's Intensive Care Unit where patients kept dying in the same bed on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. After becoming aware of this phenomenon, a worldwide team of experts assembled on a Sunday morning. They observed the part-time Sunday sweeper come into the ward at 11 a.m. and unplug the life support system so he could use the vacuum cleaner.
I'm just saying... I'm definitely feeling better and canceling the pity party. How about you?