“Survivor guilt” in Sunnyvale…

Sometimes, feeling financially secure can be uncomfortable when everyone around you seems to be struggling:

Hello Patrick Enjoy reading your editorials. Your recent work about the 3 of individuals in the Valley, indeed relates the true sadness, pain and near hopelessness effecting the multitude who have lost jobs. To not have compassion and sympathy for these individuals is next to impossible. I’ve been there in earlier times. No job, self worth taking a beating while those around you seemingly go on, doing well. But, that was back when the Mercury had tons of pages in the Employment section to give a hope to one’s chances at a job.

After many years at the Registrar’s Ofc. at Stanford, Menlo College and ending up with PG&E I retired early in 2004 at 55. At this period of my life at 60, I am secure financially, not wealthy but secure.. Several weeks ago, I purchased a new 2009 Mustang GT. A fat VA check, Social Security kicked in, other pensions make life secure. But, with all this good fortune, I feel dismayed and guilty for my current status. With so many people struggling to even put food on the table, it is disconcerting in a way. During the Vietnam war, I fought in 17 battles, walking away from all of them. While scores of Marines and hundreds of North Vietnamese soldiers were killed. Survivor’s guilt as the Veteran’s Administration calls it. I feel it again all these years later.
No blood and death here. But, seeing pain of others nonetheless is bothersome. Driving down the road I look in the rear view mirror. I see drivers staring at my back paper plate. Or people giving me side glances. They’re probably wondering in these hard economic times how I can buy a new car. Or saying to themselves “what is this fool doing making such a purchase?”. So many people at church have lost jobs and some homes. Even my own family is not immune. A nephew in Arizona is hoping to hang on to his new home, after dismissing a fixed rate for a variable one. And my other nephew in Honolulu lossing his job in May from Nike. Both are family men.

Well, just looking to express my feelings to someone. Tough times effects us all. One never knows, I could lose it all in a blink of an eye. Something could happen to the Veteran’s Administration , Social Security, my health etc.I just hope and pray in time and soon, life will not be a constant struggle for those around me. I wish those three folks well. I’ll be following the Pinkslip 2.0.
Thanks for reading this in your busy day.
Dave Arocha, Sunnyvale


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