I had written the following before the Superior Telegram's July 11 front page article, Wisconsin tax cuts benefit top 1 percent. There's no doubt about it. Can't we correct this unfairness? We hear very little about U.S. welfare going to the rich. Welfare is associated negatively with the poor, the unlucky in life's struggle. We often hear, "If only the down and out were willing to work, they wouldn't need our help." That criticism of the down and out, and their lack of get up and go, ignores the benefits received by the well off.
Keep smiling. Life is a gift. It really is. At my age, that is easy to remember. A letter from Roger H. Nelson added to my gift. He was a native of Solon Springs and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1972. He and his wife, Jane Louise live now in Texas, but spend their summers in Solon Springs on Lake St. Croix. He sent me a copy of a paper called Seniorific News, which has some humor, a little of which I share: Overheard in the YMCA locker room: First man: What are you doing today? Second man: Nothin'.
I was reminded of greed a few days back when I read an article in the June 11 Duluth News Tribune, "U.S. one of the worst on health divide between rich and poor." The opening summed it up with these words, "The U.S. has one of the world's largest health disparities between the rich and the poor — behind only Chile and Portugal. This was based on a Harvard study.
I have five signs that say war is not the answer on the front and back of my car. It's easy to say, isn't it? It seems impossible to do. Many people get killed. Those on the losing side; good riddance, they were the bad ones. We were the good ones and lost too many of ours as well. Will the gains we've won be permanent? Probably not and greed lives on. Land that joins ours is divided erroneously. As corporate interests see the possibilities, more of it should be ours and will be again once this is won by our military.
I am not writing this from death's dark door — not there yet. The severity and decreased physical condition alerts me that my day will come in the foreseeable future. My doctor for the last 25 years, Gene Karwoski, seemed more than a little impressed with a book he has read, "Being Mortal" by Atul Guwande. The book impressed me as well and caused me to begin this life summary as I deal with my final years. In retrospect, I think Dr. Karwoski may have been nudging me to read it. With my life experience, in retrospect, I need to say that my first good luck was being a white male.
Oh come to the church in the vale. Those days are passed for most of us, especially as old as the writer of this piece. Our little church was centered in the Wisconsin Lucas Valley middle and about three-quarters of a mile walk for me, the little farm boy who lived off Highway 29 up a forested coulee. We didn't have a car available; that meant walking for us after the cows were milked, fed, watered and other chores were completed.
I'm in the "know how" now. I'm not just old enough to be a new member of the Lighthouse of Superior, but I'm with other folks that are aging too. So, I write this piece with a wee bit more perspective. I'm comfortably housed, eating very good and wholesome meals with folks like me that have hearing problems and other problems that come with age. Some of them, I knew from work, neighborhoods, organizations, or other passions or pastimes. There are fewer of us now, but that is well understood because of deaths.
Is anything more important? My answer is no, no. A thousand times no. two friends can receive the same message and react totally different. A fella named, Charles Swindoll, wrote a poem that I've kept to remind me how important attitude is: The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes than what other people think, say or do.
I wish all U.S. voters could and would read such articles as the one published March 17 in the Superior Telegram. Most U.S. citizens believe our country to be exceptional. This reported incident was tacit proof that we still have a long way to go to fulfill that expectation.
The Telegram editor may be wondering when I'll be too old to submit articles or when her readers may express a need for change. It's been a long, long trail and humor has been used frequently. I've kept a file and couldn't believe that there were 12 copies that had been retained. Humor is very important in our lives. Victor Borge said, "Laughter is the closest distance between two people." E.E. Cummings said, "The most wasted of all days is the one without laughter."