I need a little balance; I’m all out of whack
It has been quite a week. The plethora of productions that sought to commemorate the terrible events of 9-11 was, at least to me, overwhelming.
No matter where I turned, it seemed as if one more radio show, one more television broadcast had found one more angle by which to analyze that day of horror one year ago.
I certainly believe we must never forget those sad events, but I can’t help wonder if our preponderance of popular media has made it almost impossible to put that day into any kind of personal perspective.
I am of the age when I can remember when the evening news on television was 15 minutes long and “talk radio” didn’t exist. Now hundreds of stations beam through my satellite dish with thousands of folks offering millions of opinions.
What I need is a little quiet right now, some distance from this onslaught of commentators and commentating. I need time to sit in silence. I need to remember the things that bring meaning into my life, and good into the world. I need a little balance. I’m all out of whack.
But because my editor expects words to fill this space, I submit to you a little quiz a friend sent me this week that may serve as something of an antidote to the necessarily somber, but seemingly endless analysis that has permeated our lives in recent days.
Recognizing that our war against terrorism is far from finished, perhaps these thoughts may be of help as we face our next battle or pick up the pieces from the last.
Take this quiz:
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.
How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields.
But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten.
Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
6. Name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.
The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care.
The source is unknown, but I suspect all of us recognize the wisdom.
In the midst of such sadness, appropriate as it was and is, great tragedies can be turned into profound triumphs when we realize anew the things that really matter.
Rich Mayfield is a Summit Daily News columnist. He appears every Saturday in this space.
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