Here the ultimate brass-ball buster in keeping a good perspective.

When my Dad was alive and suffering from cancer, we had an open door policy at his home. Everyone and anyone was welcome with the tacit agreement that you left your grudges and mean-spiritedness and jealousies outside the door. I can’t say how many people told me what a wonderful experience they had visiting Dad in that environment. We talked about the old days, real estate, and what fun we had doing whatever. Mal and I were there almost ’round the clock. My brother manned the grill almost daily. One of the wives was there, he had three, and it wasn’t uncommon to have two ex-wives and a girlfriend sitting on the couch laughing about whatever antics Dad pulled back when. There was lots to talk about.

One of his favorite stunts was to let you go on about just how hard and miserable your life is. You know, the normal stuff like your wife forgot to take out the garbage that morning or your husband isn’t giving you attention because he’s working on a dopey report for work. Dad would lean over and ask, “Hey. Anyone there dying of cancer?”

The first time he did it was shocking. The entire room went quiet like we were all thieves and just heard the doorknob jiggle. Then he burst out laughing and everyone breathed a sigh and knew he was pulling a stunt.

But it’s a good question for when the daily grind starts to take a toll on your emotions. Or when someone spills scrambled eggs on the carpet.


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