Tonawanda News


September 21, 2012

ADAMCZYK: Overdosing on inspiration

Whatever we do, we evidently need a lot of encouragement. 

It won’t take long before some media outlet will offer a presentation designed to, well, inspire you to dream, to strive, to keep on keeping on, however one wants to describe the feeling that discourages a person from abandoning hope and by extension wrecking the economy, rending the nation’s social fabric and becoming one of the alleged 47 percent that doesn’t pay taxes.

That’s how the Olympics are offered the viewer. It’s why we cheer the progress of the wounded veteran, the climb of the down-and-outer, the return of someone like football player Michael Vick, a guy who values the concept of second chances. Someone else’s struggle is, in part, a reason to continue our own.

General Motors offered, not long ago, “A Buick to believe in.” A guy ran for president, a few years ago, offering little more than “hope.” Cable television is awash in retrograde programming whose underlying message is the benefit of fresh starts. Our passion for mobility extends beyond cellphones; the divorce, the bankruptcy, the liposuction, the move to another town, the attitude adjustment, the sign-up for college, are as quick and easy as we want to make them. “Fresh start” is so ingrained in our culture there are products, ministries and foundations by that name.

Well, what do we do with all this inspiration, all this hope, all these examples of someone else’s overcoming of obstacles? Some of it we apply to personal situations; in other cases we are impressed, then depressed when it’s not happening to us.

You likely don’t want or need hard-won advice from an old man, but here it comes anyway: In general, if you can genuinely observe an advantage in an opportunity, go for it. Back when I worked in a local factory it occurred to me I could not attend, part time, law school: too hard, too complicated, too expensive, too many time constraints but mostly too hard. (I broached the idea among work colleagues: Attend law school and spend a career suing our current employer. I had clients before I even filled out the application for school.)

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    August 1, 2014

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    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

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    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

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    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014