DEAR ABBY: I am appalled at older workers who hang onto their jobs so they can live lavish lifestyles, while young workers trying to support families are left with lack of advancement or even laid off because they don't have tenure.
I am a single mom, and when my sons are out of college I plan to take a less stressful job (and thus less pay), so a younger person can have my job to support a family. I am so tired of the ME ME ME attitude of our society now. In the past, there was more of a sense of social responsibility. Now it's every man for himself and hang everyone else! -- DISGUSTED IN COLUMBUS, OHIO
DEAR DISGUSTED: While your altruism is laudable, please try to be less judgmental. Many older people work longer these days not to live lavish lifestyles, but to survive.
Unless you have a crystal ball that enables you to see what seniors have in the bank, it's presumptuous to say someone should retire. Many seniors are unprepared financially to do so through no fault of their own. And while you may think now that you'll take a reduction in pay when your sons are out of college, it remains to be seen if that will be feasible for you when the time comes.
DEAR ABBY: My cousin died a short time ago at a very young age and in an unnatural and devastating way. As soon as people outside the family started finding out, they began asking what happened. Many of these questions were posted on my relatives' Facebook pages.
Is it just me or isn't that a very insensitive thing to do? It's not just that they are asking questions of a grieving family who lost their son only hours before, but that they did it through Facebook. -- MOURNING IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR MOURNING: Please accept my sympathy for your family's tragic loss. We live in an age in which respect for privacy has nearly disappeared, and folks routinely bare intimate and sensitive details about their lives on the Internet. Of course questions like the ones your relatives are being asked are tasteless -- whether in person or via electronic media. If a person wishes to convey this kind of information, it is usually done voluntarily, and certainly not when feelings are raw.
DEAR ABBY: Too often we hear horrifying stories in the news about prescription drug addiction and overdoses. I'd like to offer hope to addicts who are still using.
There is life after drugs. For 10 years I was addicted to pain pills. My poor mother tried everything. She offered me trips or help in buying a new car if I would just go to rehab. I refused because I wasn't ready. I finally hit rock bottom and went into rehab when I realized my daughter was pulling away from me. I had been spending our rent money on pills I'd buy on the streets.
After I was sober for a few days, I realized I liked the feeling. After the sixth day, I was "me" again, and I loved it. I have been sober for two years and am now entering school to become a patient tech. It's exciting because I will be helping others. I believe this is what I was meant to do in life.
Everyone keeps saying I should tell my story, but to be honest, my story isn't finished yet. Thank you for letting me share. -- ENJOYING SOBRIETY IN FLORIDA
DEAR ENJOYING SOBRIETY: You're welcome. You're right that your story isn't over yet, but from where I'm sitting it looks like the next chapter will be a happy and constructive one. I wish you success in your journey.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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