DEAR ANNIE: My sister and her husband are both in their mid-80s and live on a farm. He is disabled. They insist on retaining horses and livestock, which my frail 90-pound sister feeds daily.
On a recent visit, I observed her moving amongst the animals without her hearing aids and without her cellphone to use to call for help should she be knocked down and injured. He remains in the house and is usually asleep when she is in the feedlot.
My pleadings that it is time to sell off the animals are met with responses such as, “The market is down” (him), or “I love taking care of them” (her).
So, how can I get them to appreciate the importance of a balance between economics, a joyous life and her safety? – One Concerned Brother
DEAR CONCERNED BROTHER: You sound like a very caring brother, and your sister sounds like a very impressive lady. The answer to your question of how to get them to see the importance of living their lives your way is that you don’t get them to see that.
Instead, you should support their decision to keep their horses and livestock, especially if she loves them and finds daily purpose in taking care of them. I doubt they are not aware of the economics, safety or joy in these circumstances. On the safety issue, continue to encourage her to wear her hearing aids and bring her cellphone.
Maybe stop by and help her out some mornings. Rather than observing all the things she is doing “wrong,” dive right in and lend a hand with caring for her animals. My guess is that it will make you feel a lot better and strengthen the relationship with your sister.
DEAR ANNIE: After reading your recent column on bullying, I knew I had to let you know that a large group of people from all over the world are working hard to help alleviate this serious situation. For instance, check out an online video called, “Beat a Bully Without Using Your Fists.”
As a kid, I was called “Susan Boozin’.” I don’t recall it bothering me, however. I guess bullying has always been around, but it does seem to be worse in the last decade or so.
If you have ever wondered why things seem to be getting worse worldwide, you will find answers in various scriptures of the Bible.
Thank you for addressing this important issue and for letting me refer your readers to the video and the Bible, especially 2nd Timothy 3:1-5. And keep those good answers coming! – Stop Bullying
DEAR STOP BULLYING: Thank you for your kind words, and I hope everyone will continue to work to eradicate bullying worldwide.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.