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BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE

I grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in South Buffalo during the Great Depression. We were among the lucky ones. My father worked as a printing pressman for $32 a week. He even got in a little overtime.

Some of my friends' fathers worked for the Work Projects Administration. They made $15 per week.

We ate well, lived in a nice two-story family home that was ours and owned a 1928 Chevrolet. In 1936, my parents bought a new Pontiac for about $900.

Our main recreation was fishing. On Sundays, we would go to Waterport on Oak Orchard Creek and rent a little rowboat. In the fall, we would fish off the bridge at Waterport.

My father did not get any vacation at that time. If a holiday fell on a Friday or Monday, we would rent a cottage at Fair Haven Bay, off Lake Ontario, for three days. That's how it was about 60 years ago.

Today, people do not seem to be satisfied regardless of how much they have.

Even the athletes back in the Depression era didn't make a lot of money. Thousands of dollars was their limit, compared to the millions of dollars many are earning today. Yet even with that kind of money, many of them still are not satisfied.

The owners of some big professional sports teams show little loyalty to their cities. Either give them what they want, or goodbye. Profit is everything. If a business damages the environment, too bad. Money is now god. Even wars are often a matter of greed.

One would think religion would help squelch this greed, but even among religions there is little tolerance for other denominations.

One only has to look to Northern Ireland, where Catholics and Protestants have been battling each other for ages. The horror in Bosnia can be attributed to the hatred between Christians and Muslims. In the Middle East, the Jews and Muslims go at it with little hope of a permanent settlement.

Where is all this terrible greed leading us? If things do not change, it will lead to the destruction of the human race, and perhaps all life on our beautiful planet. It can happen through war, pollution or even disease.

We live in the greatest country that there ever was -- or probably ever will be. We have the freedom and opportunity that most of the world never knows. If greed causes us to lose these great benefits, they will be gone forever.

Charles Quirin Akron

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