Q: Our friend's wife lost her job several years ago. They have had a tough time since. Because my husband and I are in a fortunate position, we buy them grocery gift cards periodically.
We recently found out that our friend's wife has turned down several jobs because "they don't feed my soul." We are aghast and do not want to continue to help them. However, they literally do not have food on their table some weeks. Should we say something or just stop helping them?
Friends in Deed
A: Happiness is minimizing your involvement with things that leave you "aghast." Stop helping, say nothing. I'm not sure whether typing that fed my soul or snatched its plate away, but the answer makes sense to me regardless.
Be thankful for a message of sympathy — even if it's a text
Q: My father recently passed away. My adult stepdaughter, who has always been somewhat of a challenge, has known my father just about all her life and texted me a message of condolence. I know she is of the "social media" generation, but isn't that taking it a bit too far?
A: I could easily agree, but instead I urge you not to look for reasons to be disappointed in people. You will always, always find them. Instead, please look for reasons to be grateful: Your always-challenging stepdaughter thought of you and expressed her sympathy. I'm sorry for your loss.