In 1976, during the spring semester of my freshman year in college, I got in my car and drove to the local Western Union office. When I walked in, I told the clerk at the counter that I wanted to send a telegram. At that time, a telegram was a written message that was sent by telegraph from one Western Union office to a Western Union office in a different city. The second Western Union office would then make arrangements to hand-deliver the message to the intended recipient.
If you could choose a superpower that only you would possess, what would it be? Would it be the ability to fly like Superman? Or would you choose the ability to travel through time like Dr. Strange, or to live forever like Peter Pan? There’s one superpower that I think would be of great benefit to me in my dealings with other people on both a personal and business level.
Last week, I wrote about a conversation I had with a contractor to whom I referred as “Ray.” I told you how Ray tried to convince me that in addition to needing new shingles and gutters, I also needed to replace the fascia and soffit on my house. One thing that I didn’t tell you was that he also tried to convince me that I needed my sidewalk, concrete patio, and landscaping blocks spray-cleaned and sealed. He bragged about how he had the best equipment on the market for cleaning and sealing concrete.
Last fall, I submitted a claim to my homeowner’s insurance for the replacement of the roof of my house. The shingles on the roof had been damaged by a hail storm that had occurred earlier in the year. A few days after I submitted the claim, an insurance adjuster came to my house and verified that the shingles had been damaged. A week later, he provided me with an estimate of the cost to replace the shingles. I told him that I wanted to get estimates from some contractors before I decided what to do. I then contacted a few roofing companies and asked them to provide me with estimates.
Last month, I scheduled a time to donate blood at the Red Cross. In order to save time, prior to showing up for my appointment, I logged onto the Red Cross website and answered all the preliminary questions that I’m required to answer before I can donate blood. The questions were designed to allow the Red Cross to determine any blood safety risks that may be present.
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Last week, I wrote about the importance of practicing healthy paranoia. The definition of “paranoia” is “a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others.” My definition of “healthy paranoia” is “the intentional practice on the part of a person to be reasonably and rationally suspicious and distrustful of people who the person is not intimately familiar with, so the person can guard against unanticipated surprises and dangers.”
I’m writing this article while I’m in the presence of our Lord in the adoration chapel at the Church of the Risen Christ in Denver, Colorado. Georgette and I arrived in Denver yesterday (April 18) to visit our newest grandchild. Her name is Magdalene, and she was born three weeks ago. Magdalene is our 15th grandchild and the first child of our daughter, Laura, and her husband, Tyler.
A local lawyer who I know — I’ll call him Rick — was recently sentenced by a federal court judge to 60 days in prison for taking money that belonged to one of his elderly clients. The Lawyer is in his mid-sixties. I want to share with you a letter that I sent to him after the judge handed down the sentence. I think you will agree that the advice that I shared with him would be of benefit to anyone. The sending of the letter was what I considered to be a spiritual work of mercy. Here’s what I wrote in the letter: