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I Don’t Want to Hear

Woe is Me’

I am losing one of my best friends, at least the day-to-day relationship we share, because this person is moving. I was saddened by the news, and shared my feelings with another close friend, who had little sympathy.

At the time of the call, she was reading about the devastating earthquake in Haiti and the state of the people there. A senior care center collapsed in the quake, and the elderly occupants were left without food and water. Some were in diapers, which had not been changed since the quake many days earlier, and rats were chewing and biting them.

They were left to die and knew it.

“It doesn’t matter your friend is leaving,” she said. “What matters right now is Haiti. Americans have nothing to complain about. It’s the state of these people that break my heart.”

I thought about it and realized, of course, she is right.

And the same holds true to Alaskans.

We worry about the economy, about the affect on our businesses, about unemployment, and a slight reduction in value in the housing market, and we cry “woe is me.”

What about the rest of the U.S? What about the unemployed in the Lower 48? Did you know the average unemployed person there takes two years to find a job, according to one national economist? What about the housing crash? What about the loss of industry? The loss of health insurance? The loss of morale and hope? What about those who are taking retirement out prematurely, losing their homes, losing everything?

We have it good.

It’s time to take our eyes off our minor problems and turn to the world, which is much worse off than we are. It is time to see what we have and appreciate it, not what we don’t have.

Alaska is doing well.

I just read an article this morning in the Anchorage Daily News that says high oil prices mean more funding for the Legislature to spend on “hometown projects.” New projects are on the horizon. Jobs are expected to be added in 2010, at least in some industries. And our economy, which is by far better off than most states, is expected to begin recovery later this year.

Again, look at what we have and celebrate. I need this lesson, too. Thank you dear friend for opening my eyes and bringing this to my attention. Think about it. It’s not “woe is me.” We are blessed greatly.

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