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September 21 11:40 AM
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Generosity may be harder to find during trying economic times


To the Editor:

In the December 2 issue, the editorial 'A new take on this year's holiday season' and Catherine Minolli's column 'Random acts of kindness inspire,' were ideologically beautiful.

In reality, the fewer jobs there are, lower incomes, rising taxes, dwindling retirement accounts and benefit reductions or denials often lead to less, not more, generosity in terms of time, charitable donations and volunteerism. Crime may also increase and some may look to alcohol or other means in an effort to cope. Frustrations may lead to family breakdowns.

In our case, as a retired auto worker family, income has dropped considerably. This means less work is hired out and more is done by us. Some repairs may or may not get done. Donations and volunteerism done in better times are reduced. Activities and entertainment are more focused in and around our home. Vacation travel is severely limited.

In our case, my husband has multiple health issues including documented cancer and documented severe back problems. Some health care issues are still in the VA claims process. VA has a great record of delaying and denying veterans their benefits and it may require going to the Board of Veterans Appeals and the Court of Veterans Appeals if a disabled veteran lives long enough and can withstand this process.

With increasing challenges, time constraints, concerns about the future, health problems, making ends meet and sometimes the basic requirements of survival, it may become more and more difficult to realize that people's lives may be helped by a kind word or deed. We cannot all be Mother Teresa, but perhaps even for brief moments we can focus on ideology and begin a chain of events that feed the spirit and assist us in all these trying times.

Susan Sam, Goodland Twp.
December 10, 2009

Castle Creek
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