It's A Selfish World - With Unselfish Heroes - Hudson Valley Handymom Blog at - 310575

Hudson Valley Handymom

It's a Selfish World - with Unselfish Heroes 
Sep. 11, 2013 5:41 am 
Updated: Sep. 15, 2013 12:00 pm

On a day to day basis, we all see it.  People who are so absorbed with their own lives that they discount the harm they do to other people.  They'll run over another person with a shopping cart to get ahead of them at the register.  They'll stomp on people to get a higher up position in a workplace.  They'll lie, cheat, steal, and manipulate as long as their wants are met.  They cut you off while you're driving and barely miss your car just to get one car ahead.  What's the point of it all?

We are all on this earth for a short period of time.  Yet, so many frustrations are dumped on so many of us due to selfish people who forget what it is to sacrifice even one little moment of his or her life for another person.  There's no compromising and no giving - just taking.  For these people, it's just a "me me" attitude with no room for anyone else's needs or wants.  The only person who exists is the person he or she sees in the mirror every morning.

Then, there are heroes.  The word "hero" is such a strong word.  It implies someone like Superman who has superhuman qualities.  On 9/11, Superman faced his Kryptonite.

The First Responders ran in to help while a building was coming down.  They ran in to help when chaos ensued.  They searched and searched after the towers came down, and knew...they knew....that the air they were breathing, despite anything that was ever said, was NOT safe to breathe.  They knew because they felt it.  Yet, they kept looking for life.   Later, they were looking for bodies.

I am the wife of a retired First Responder.  I remember every day that he came home after 9/11.  He was covered in dust and smelled like a crematorium.  He said, "One day we're all going to die from this...from some strange form of cancer or something.  There's no way that air is safe to breathe."  Regardless, these men and women continued going back to help.  Those who weren't around may not be able to understand the patriotism that everyone felt.  We watched funeral after funeral procession in our small town while others across the country turned the channel because they were sick of hearing about it.  We could never turn the channel because it's permanent in our lives.

Since that time, I watched my husband develop illnesses.  He went from being a healthy and strong person to one who suffers on a daily basis.  I often say that I lost him to that day.  He is now chronically ill.  He was fortunate in that he completed his time on the job no matter how hard it was for him to get to work.  Not everyone was fortunate.

There were many who became ill that were chastised, mocked, ridiculed, and had the screws put to them.  Many were forced off their jobs and told that the illnesses that developed were their own fault somehow.  Some had hardly any time left to retire and were "vested" off - forced to retire with only half their pension and just a couple of years left to go.  They were left without a means to support their families.  They were left with the inability to work again.  They were left in a world full of selfish people who didn't care.

For years, there was denial regarding the 9/11 related illnesses.  Quite a few people banded together in different groups to fight the Powers That Be regarding the denial.  From the beginning, when the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring program was established, a few medical "experts" sat down and decided what they thought they'd see transpire.  From then on, they were the only illnesses that were recognized.  It didn't matter what people were developing.  What mattered is what these people stated from the beginning.  Reality versus The Prediction came into play.  As time went on and more and more were becoming ill with the same illnesses, things were added to the list.  However, it wasn't without determination from those afflicted who took a leap, came forward without fear of repercussion from their jobs for speaking out, and stood up for their rights and the rights of others.  They were heroes in more than the sense of their first heroic efforts.  They were heroes for others who were affected as well.

The battle isn't over.  People are still ill.  Cancers are emerging at a rapid rate.  So many never had the right thing done by them regarding their jobs.  Those who were forced to retire and can no longer work not only struggle on a daily basis, but are left with the anxiety of what the future may hold.  They describe their lives as "sick of being sick" and are tired of going to medical appointments.  Yet, they carry on with determination not wanting to lose the battle because that means the terrorists took more lives.

Next time you get irritated because someone is walking too slow, might get ahead of you in a line, didn't drive fast enough for time you decide to be a selfish jerk and yell and scream at a person because your life and aspirations are so important to you that you think your best method to get what you want is to tear others down, manipulate, and time you see a retired police officer or firefighter or veteran and make statements like, "It must be nice," or, "Why don't you get a job like the rest of us?"  - maybe you should ask yourself what you did for the good of mankind.  Maybe you should stop, JUST ONCE, and think that the person you're doing this to sacrificed for YOU.

So, today, when you hop into your car and get irritated, when you make a mistake on the road and then flip the person off who honked their horn at you, when you decide to dump your anger and hostility onto a person, when you see someone going to a register and decide you'll make a run for it to get in front, when you consistently manipulate to try to take advantage of people because you feel your needs and wants should take priority in life, try to stop yourself.  Learn how to apologize.  Learn how to sympathize.  Learn how to empathize.  But, most of all, learn how to be giving, gracious, and become like those people that weren't afraid to walk into dangerous situations in order to make the lives of others better.  There are heroes walking among us, and it might just be that person you gave the finger to this morning.

Sep. 11, 2013 7:16 am
Hi Donna, it is people like your husband who are the heros who saved many people from losing their lives on 9/11. I salute your husband for his bravery, service and willingness to help others. We owe our gratitude to him trifold! My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.
Sep. 11, 2013 8:07 am
"So we raise her up every morning And we bring her down slow every night, We don't let her touch the ground, And we fold her up right. On second thought I *do* like to brag Cause I'm mighty proud of That Ragged Old Flag" I fly our flag proudly in honor of our heros such as your husband. I too suffer from ill effects while serving my country but you know, I would do it all over again.
Sep. 11, 2013 10:01 am
I have my flag flying too! My father served three tours in Vietnam, and I come from a family of war veterans. Thank you, Lela - they would've done it all over again too.
Sep. 11, 2013 12:38 pm
Wow, talk about timing. I just came from a memorial ceremony at the beach The FDNY Lt Ret. who was speaking had to stop because he was too short of breath to continue. So far, my SIL has shown no signs, but with so many people just beginning to show the signs of respiratory failure, we just do not know. I can't begin to understand how Christine Todd Whitman ever got appointed to head the EPA, her only qualification was political a$$ kissing. My heart goes out to your family and those of all who live with the repercussions of that awful day.
Sep. 11, 2013 1:24 pm
The respiratory problems were immediate. It was very evident within the first year that something happened. It didn't take much time for things to start surfacing, but none of us had ever seen anything like these problems, so it was new. Plus, a lot of people were transferred and put into different locations so they didn't know other people were having the same problems. Not everyone in the FDNY and NYPD were there, so not everyone who was employed there will have the problems. Christine Todd Whitman lied. They all knew it.
Sep. 11, 2013 8:53 pm
I have no words except to say that you and yours have me utmost respect, gratitude and prayers. Thank you.
Sep. 11, 2013 8:54 pm
*my not me - cripes I'm not Popeye.
Sep. 11, 2013 9:42 pm
Well said! Take care of that hero and yourself.....My love always, Cindy
Sep. 12, 2013 3:21 am
Thanks to all who posted. It means a lot to me that the thoughts are in your hearts. I don't know if the lack of consideration has become widespread across our nation, but what I've witnessed lately come from a few different states.
Sep. 12, 2013 5:35 am
Once again Donnam, I salute your husband and all the other heroes and wish your husband good health. Take care kid.
Sep. 12, 2013 7:40 am
My husband is a retired firefighter. He served proudly to save the lives of others for 25 years. (And, has the very banged up and worn out body to prove it!) He has always said of the amazing nature of his profession, "Who runs into burning buildings while everyone else is running out? WE DO!" I say it's the very nature of those who choose professions like Police Officers, Firefighters, First Responders, Nurses and Doctors. I also have a son who was Police Officer and a daughter who is a NICU Nurse. Another daughter who served 15 years on the Mission field and one who spent 4 years on the USS MERCY Hospital Ship in the Navy. We've raised our children to serve, protect and give of themselves whenever and wherever they can. We fly our flag proudly and appreciate the efforts of ALL emergency personnel. I would like to add this to your blog; Not everybody is self centered. There are so many good and king and thoughtful folks out there too. My hat is off to those folks who do understand the sacrifice so many make to keep us safe.
Sep. 13, 2013 6:01 am
Thank you all for your kind words. I know all too well that there are unselfish people in this world. I have a houseful of giving people and grew up in a family who allowed people in need to move in with us. It's the example I had set in my life, and no matter how much bad behavior I've seen and been a victim of, I know that I will continue to allow my heart to be open to others. Unfortunately, as of late, I have witnessed the bombarded of people who don't think outside of themselves and never take a moment to realize what their stampeding for their wants does to other people. Most people aren't like this, but it's a shame that some don't stop for a moment and consider what effect their behavior has on others. Mrs. J.- You are so correct. When the illnesses started to strike, we had no clue what was taking place. It was a huge battle to get the illnesses recognized. There was a monetary value placed on the heads of those who were there, but this seems to be the way history seems to be replaying itself...and I would refer to Agent Orange as an example...
Sep. 13, 2013 8:04 am
wow..I had no idea this was even happening. GReat Blog donnam.
Sep. 15, 2013 12:00 pm
TY, CC and all who posted. It's nice to see good people are still out in the world.
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I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a volunteer position), and I am not compensated for my work with Products received from advertisers are only used for experience-based reviews on my personal blog. The reviews, content, and opinions expressed in this blog are all my own. **************** By the age of seven, I would wander into the local library to check out cookbooks to make creations at home. When I became a mother to four daughters, I had a good sized family to feed. I became great with saving money and making wonderful meals without breaking the bank. I started using the original Allrecipes sites when I was in my 20's in 1997. I made the discovery by typing in "" to see what would happen. From then on, I became an addict. I didn't "officially" join until 2010, but I've been here the entire time. :) Allrecipes saved me many times over for parties, pot lucks, graduations-even my oldest daughter's college senior recital.
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I love to bake breads, cookies, cakes, and pies. I have a smoker and love to grill. Whenever I want some company, I fire up the smoker and make my own homemade BBQ sauce for pulled pork. If that doesn't get you company in NY, nothing will. I create my own recipes, but love learning from other people. I love to see ideas, promote them, and share creativity. I can't think of anything I don't enjoy making. I just love trying to make anything. Holidays are some of my favorite times of the year. Allrecipes contains the secret to my success regarding making succulent turkey (yes, I once was a dry turkey person- NOT ANYMORE). I enjoy coming up with new ideas, new ways to use products, and I always like to test out new items that hit the shelves at the stores. I consider my kitchen to be my laboratory. However, I'm not opposed to quick and easy meals when life makes the call for it! After all, life was meant to be enjoyed...and, sometimes, that means quick and easy meals!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays and birthdays are my favorite times of the year. I enjoy making old family favorites and spending time together with my family. For Thanksgiving, I turned to Allrecipes years ago and discovered what putting a turkey in a brine can do. I tried it that year and never turned back. My husband proclaimed that I made the best turkey he ever ate. So, every year, I cut up all the vegetables ahead of time for the Thanksgiving meal. Then, I put the remains into a stockpot and create my own vegetable stock for a turkey brine. After soaking the turkey, I cook the turkey in a bag to make the most succulent turkey around. It's so juicy that it's hard to believe it's Thanksgiving - and there's no need to buy a special brand of turkey to get this result. I also love the old family go-to recipes. However, for stuffing, I found that making a homemade Challah bread creates the most unbelievable stuffing ever. Using a bread machine can make the whole process easier. You won't regret it!
My cooking triumphs
I started creating my own recipes when I had to live out of a pantry with little funds. I enjoy being creative, and this led to me becoming published. Later, I became an Allstars Brand Ambassador. I love the program because it let me be a part of a company that I respect and love so much in a way that I couldn't have imagined. Being a Brand Ambassador has been such a huge honor and great experience. I've met so many wonderful people due to it, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to represent Allrecipes through roasting pumpkin seeds on the Better TV show. I just want to give a big shout out to Better TV for giving me the opportunity to represent Allrecipes - a website I've been visiting for over 15 years. Here are the links to the pumpkin seed roasting:
My cooking tragedies
I started cooking at a young age, and most of my mistakes took place during that time period. As a child, company was constant in our home. My mother knew I loved to cook and asked if I could make some of my Blonde Brownies for dessert that night for our company. I was 12 years old, and gladly started to prepare the dish. Unfortunately, my mother was out of vegetable oil. I went to the fridge and took out some reserve oil she had filtered after using it for deep frying. I figured it was still good and added it to the brownies. That night, when dinner was finished, the brownies were brought out. I took a bite of mine, and dropped it on the plate. The company ate the brownies and stated how good they were. My brownie had a horrible taste. It was at that moment that I realized the reserved oil was from my mother frying fish. Never again did I test the waters of used oil.
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