I finally reached the boiling point. You’ve been there...we all have. You just feel like if one more bad or unwelcome thing happens, you’re going to explode. Well, that’s where I was on this Monday night. Fuming (over nothing consequential whatsoever, looking back), I checked my e-mail late that night and found one from my friend Bob Lammers, the former PR guru (not his official title, I’m sure) for Midmark. Bob is one of the first people I met at an official trade show and we became very good friends over the next seven years. From Broadway shows to eBay, we found we shared similar likes and dislikes.
Bob recently retired from Midmark, but is staying active with his writing by penning a column for a newspaper in his Ohio hometown. I think he wrote this column for me that night (combining it with an e-mail I’ve seen before), and I thought I’d share it with you here (with his permission, of course).
There is a whole lot of complaining these days by many Americans. As often as not, the complaints are about what’s wrong with the federal, state, and local government, what’s wrong with the schools, what’s wrong with their church (if they have one), how tough they have it, and on and on and on.
Perhaps if these complainers, who do little or nothing to contribute to making any positive changes in their lives, took a look back at how life was in these United States a little over 100 years ago, they might understand that, while life today here is far from perfect, it is not nearly as bad as they think.
- Your life expectancy was 47.
- If you had a bathroom you were a minority; only 14 percent did.
- If you were one of the elite 8,000 people who had a car, you only had 144 miles of paved roads on which to use it at a maximum speed in most cities of 10 miles per hour.
- Your average wage in those days was 22 cents per hour and you made an average of $200 to $400 per year.
- Back then, 90 percent of all doctors had no college education. They attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as substandard.
- If you were an accountant, you could earn $2,000 per year; a dentist, $2,500; a mechanical engineer, about $5,000.
- More than 95 percent of all births occurred in the home.
- Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
- In 1906, Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering their country for any reason.
- The population of Las Vegas was 30.
- There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
- Two out of every 10 adults could not read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Count your blessings. Peace.
Thanks for the reminder, Bob. Life really is good.
• Like the new editor’s note picture? I go back and forth on it, honestly. Don’t know if it’s GQ or if it’s me posing like Superman with the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” playing in the background. I did it for the newest magazine in PennWell’s armory - Dental Office (the other magazine I serve as editor). It launched in February and is polybagged with Dental Economics five times per year. Dental Office is geared toward the entire dental team, with special emphasis placed on the dental assistant.
Thanks to the hard work and creative mind of PennWell’s Jason Blair, I think Dental Office is one of the best-looking books in the dental market. Yes, I am biased. If you’d like to see a copy, drop me a line at [email protected] and I’ll send one to you. You can also check it out online at www.dentalofficemag.com.
• Speaking of hard work ... special thanks go out once again to Carroll Hull for her efforts on the international manufacturer directory, which you’ll find on page 6 of this month’s issue. Carroll does an amazing job helping me with the directories, and I owe her a huge debt of gratitude.
• I’m off to Cologne for the IDS meeting. Look for plenty of information in our IDS recap in the June issue of Proofs.
Read on, this is your magazine...
Kevin Henry, Editor