During the 1970s, when I was in high school and then college, there were three popular family singing groups in America: the Partridge Family, the Osmonds, and the Jackson Five. The Partridge Family had a weekly TV show that aired from 1970 to 1974, and two of the Osmond siblings, Donny and Marie, had a weekly TV show that aired from 1976 to 1979. Both shows provided clean, wholesome family entertainment.
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.
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.”
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: