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A recent email forwarded by Mom
(This is really worth the few minutes it takes to read this!)
For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column for the online website called "Monday Night At Morton's." (Morton's is a famous chain of Steakhouses known to be frequented by movie stars and famous people from around the globe.) Now, Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things in his life. Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your time.
Stein's Last Column... (read all of this or you will have missed the
As I begin
to write this, I "slug" it, as we writers say, which means
I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading
is "eonlineFINAL," and it gives me a shiver to write it. I
have been doing this column for so long that I cannot even recall when
I started. I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to
believe it would never end.
well for a long time, but gradually, my changing as a person and the
world's change have overtaken it. On a small scale, Morton's, while
better than ever, no longer attracts as many stars as it used to. It
still brings in the rich people in droves and definitely some stars.
I saw Samuel L. Jackson there a few days ago, and we had a nice visit,
and right before that, I saw and had a splendid talk with Warren Beatty
in an elevator, in which we agreed that Splendor in the Grass was a
super movie. But Morton's is not the star galaxy it once was, though
it probably will be again.
I am no
longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values,
and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who
is eating at Morton's is a big subject.
are plenty of other stars in the American firmament...the policemen
and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if
they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people
who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery; the
teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic
children; the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer
of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World
Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of
a real hero.
not responsible for the operation of the universe, and what happens
to us is not terribly important. God is real, not a fiction; and when
we turn over our lives to Him, He takes far better care of us than we
could ever do for ourselves. In a word, we make ourselves sane when
we fire ourselves as the directors of the movie of our lives and turn
the power over to Him.
to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters.
This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it another way.
Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier
or as good a comic as Steve Martin...or Martin Mull or Fred Willard--or
as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as
Fitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them.
could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all,
a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to
be my main task in life. I did it moderately well with my son, pretty
well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister's
help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years.
I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then
into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading
him the Psalms.
--==|| Copyright [c] 2001-2006 EZthompson.com ||==--
...last Updated June 2005
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