I've been a blogger for a few years now and there are times I wonder what the heck I'm doing.
These moments occur when I read stupid, vitriolic, comments that add nothing to the conversation. In fact, some comments seem to send us all back to the dark ages.
When a comment is particularly bigoted or obscene, I have chosen to hit the delete button. But for the most part, I publish most every one of my readers' comments because I don't want to censor the discussion.
Today, however, I want to focus on the positive. I've decided to republish some of the best, most thoughtful comments in a blog post looking back at 2008.
My post on how one small business owner was planning on firing a worker who supported Obama got a lot of great comments:
My father, who lived through the Great Depression, always said he didn't mind paying taxes as long as he was earning money. I feel the same way.
I suspect multi-trillion dollar deficits will cost us a lot more in affluence than an extra 5-10% on Capital Gains. I urge other small business owners to ask themselves: are we better off now than we were 8 years ago? I'm certainly not.
We were all better off, though, when we could depend on the Democrats to promote fairness and the Republicans to promote economic sanity.
-- John Henson, Austin, Texas
Entrepreneurial life after being laid off from the troubled financial sector was the theme of a blog post that got business owners sharing their own success stories:
I used to work in a big engineering office doing engineering work. Then, I started my own business, pretty soon earning 2x doing part-time what I make in one month in my day job. My clients piled up and pretty soon, I had to make a choice between keeping my "security blanket" day job, or going solo. I went solo. Income shot up from 2x to about 7x. Been doing this now for 8+ years. But I miss engineering... so I started a side business related to engineering. (Shhhh.... don't tell the boss :) That little side business in my spare time will make about $70K by the end of this year. Next year, I estimate it to double.
So folks... do your homework, start your own business and be "independent". Sure, the risks are high, work is hard, but rewards are also high. Not just financially, but other intangible rewards as well. For example: Me and my wife watched and got to be with our daughter at home until she went to school.
Overcoming tragedy and going on to become successful was a topic that got lots of readers sharing their own moving stories:
In February of this year, I lost my 23 year old daughter, Heather, to brain cancer after a 2 1/2 year battle with the disease. I returned to work one week after her funeral and have been amazingly doing OK. I know deep in my being that Heather would be disappointed in me if I had given up or succumbed to my grief. During her illness she always encouraged me to be strong (while she was the one suffering) and would get angry with me if I gave up on life. I learned a lot from her bravery during many surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy. I feel empowered now to carry on with my life and keep going forward in spite of out tragedy. Yes we are sad and cry often and miss her terribly, but we do move on and appreciate every day as a gift.
-- Holly Caron, Winslow, Maine
Being alive for some years usually means that you will experience a great sadness of some sort or another, one that you will either never get over, or find it hard to do so. It is a part of life to experience loss and see or experience suffering. What you do about it or with it is what really counts. May peace find all those who need and seek it.
-- Irene, Rancho Mirage, CA
I think that's a great sentiment for the New Year.