This is a tribute to an old friend. It’s a kind of “Guest Post”, I think.
I sat down at the computer today to post something entirely different. I don’t know why I decided to do this tribute to my friend, instead. Well maybe I do. I heard about the deaths of two more people I know, or knew, who passed away last night. I haven’t seen the subject of (contributor to) this post since I was in high school. It’s nice to recognize someone alive, for a change!
Though Facebook can be a time-waster, a way to disseminate gossip and other worthless tidbits, it is also a way to connect people who have lost touch. It can often be a lifeline to some lonely people, though I am not a proponent of letting Facebook be a substitute for real human contact. Facebook can sometimes even help us learn about those who are actually our friends in real life, as we read about their various interests and opinions. A friend I considered someone close to me, remarked a couple of years ago, in response to something I said, that she “didn’t know I was a writer, or liked poetry.” That baffled me. How could she have known me for well over 25 years, and not have known that about me? Maybe if she had listened, or had been my Facebook friend, she would have known.
Anyway, I just felt moved to include a sampling of the things my old friend, Michael I. Rosenthal, has said on Facebook. I have his permission to do so. I don’t always see Michael’s posts, due to Facebook’s way of doing things, and because I am busy and connected with many people. I saw one this morning and thought I wanted to do this. As are many of us, Michael is multi-faceted. He is an habitual punster and jokester, much like my own father was. He is quick-witted and can carry on his playing with words and puns indefinitely if you participate! There is a serious side to him, as well.
To Michael, and “L’Chayim”- To Life
“Some people are dominated by their brains and intellect, and leave sympathy and empathy far behind in their dealing with life and its challenges.
Some people are so afraid, insecure and defensive, that they let selfishness and self-interest rule their lives. ‘Me first…’ They might even become con artists, uncaring and unrepentant, who are just ecstatic to connect with the rest of us…
…who, despite our intelligence and individual strengths, are just softhearted and trusting too easily, and find ourselves often ‘taken advantage of,’ our generosity often unappreciated and unreturned.
Our critics are many— ‘Don’t you see that you are just being an easy mark?’ —but they don’t understand that being repaid, (although that would be most welcome), is not WHY we give. If you have to ask, you will never get it. And we aren’t that dumb that we aren’t concerned with our own ability to afford our own generosity.
Sometimes the scales of giving are tipped because we value giving over ‘having.’ And that’s the way it goes.”~ Michael I. Rosenthal
On making a difference:
“NEVER underestimate the power of your actions, good or bad. Just try to make them good as much as possible.” ~ Michael I. Rosenthal
Thoughts as a U.S. Veteran:
“Does ‘Thank you for your service’ insulate or indemnify the government and its people from any guilt in allowing our military to continually be grist for the mill of political adventurism and stupidity?”~ Michael I. Rosenthal
“As for me, if I never hear a ‘Thank you For Your Service’ one more time, it will be just fine. You are all welcome. I volunteered. I got what I asked for, even though I had no idea what that was going to entail, because I was a naive young man. Big deal. I’m still alive by some miracle. And I remember those who didn’t make it. No amount of hotdogs and beer and fireworks makes that feel any better. If you feel bad about their sacrifice, have the courage to stop sending them into harm’s way for political reasons.~Michael I. Rosenthal
“To say, ‘Happy Memorial Day’ is so inherently bizarre. Like saying, Happy Anniversary of your loved one’s untimely demise..
I think what I was trying to say was that all of the hoopla with a ‘Memorial Day” such as it is, like so many “holiday’s” it is merely a signal to party. Those who have lost loved ones don’t need a day to remember. We remember every day/24/7/365.25.” ~Michael I. Rosenthal
On Humor Vs. Seriousness:
“The reason I often combine humor with seriousness is that it makes it easier to swallow. If I were to create a ‘product’, such as a self help book, it would be seriousness sweetened and lubed with self deprecation, humorous self-awareness, and ironic sarcasm. The actual message is easy. The delivery to, and digestion by the reader, is the challenge. All roads may lead to Rome, but the road most enjoyable is the one most desirable to the traveler who is willing to make the trip… Heyyy! I sounded like a Chinese Fortune Cookie. ” ~Michael I. Rosenthal
“Sometimes topics appear, situations occur in life, that one would certainly assess leave no room for humor in their discussion. That is a veil for outsiders who don’t want to ‘offend’ or be perceived as insensitive. But ask anyone on the inside, and laughter among insiders (like those with common experiences like death or near-death, mortal danger, disease, or violent incidents) is often unmitigated and often perplexing to those who have never ‘been there.’ Humor is always present. It is just HOW it is introduced, WHEN, and BY WHOM.”~Michael I. Rosenthal
And now, some of Michael’s classic humor:
“How do i stick to my ‘vow of silence?’ I find it helpful to refer to my No-Cabulary”.~Michael I. Rosenthal
“I used to date a young lady who was involved, as her father, uncles and grandfather had been before her, in the making of moonshine. We haven’t seen each other for years but I love her still.” ~Michael I. Rosenthal
“My Buddhist friend is going to try to undergo having three teeth extracted and two root canals without the benefit of Novacaine… He said he was trying to transcend dental medication” ~Michael I. Rosenthal
“Donald Trump is Buy-Sexual”.~ Michael I. Rosenthal
“My egomaniacal friend just bough a new couch custom made for his personality. A SELFA” ~ Michael I. Rosenthal
“The young lady I am living with is a conflicted clairvoyant with a voice so loud that when she communicates with spirits on “the other side” she forces them to seek refuge on the other side of the other side.
‘Can you hear me now?’
‘Yes! Please stop!’ ~ ~ Michael I. Rosenthal
“When I was a little kid, I loved the LONE RANGER on TV…so much so that my favorite uncle gave me a special present: A Silver Bullet.
And I kept that bullet in my breast pocket from childhood until I was an adult. And one day, while I was walking to my office on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, a berserk evangelist tossed a copy of the Gideon Bible out of the window of his 30th floor hotel room. And that bible came hurtling down, hurtling down and hit me right in the chest!
And you know, if it weren’t for that bullet… that bible would have gone right through my heart!” ~ Michael I. Rosenthal
Do you have a friend you don’t acknowledge often enough? Do you have a friend, old or new, to whom you would like to pay some sort of tribute? Don’t wait. There are a ton of ways in which to do that. Write something and give or send it. Make a phone call. Post something on Facebook. Say a simple thank you to that person for just being who he or she is.