Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No shame in struggling

He has a lot of people who love him and there's no shame in struggling because we all have, or will struggle eventually.

That's a response by Warden, EM, the brother of a man apparently (or at least potentially) pulled back from the brink of oblivion by the commenters over at Ace of Spades yesterday, as conveyed in turn by Warden. Their politics, as a rule, diverge from mine with some frequency, but that doesn't matter here. As a group they stepped up yesterday and tossed a lifeline.

As you might imagine, I see great deal of struggling in my law practice, dealing as I do with folks who've had critical insurance benefits denied when they needed them most. Disability benefit claimants and their families struggle to do without the financial lifeline they were led led to believe would be there. Health benefit claimants and their families struggle to persevere in the face of terrifying medical issues bereft of the peace of mind their insurance was supposed to provide. Pension claimants and their families face their dotage under the specter of impoverishment.

And some of them experience shame as a result of their struggles. In the main these are people who have worked hard for many years to earn -- earn -- the benefits which are ultimately denied to them. They are accustomed to, and have earned, self-sufficiency. And they are told when they seek the insurance benefits they have earned that they're goldbrickers, malingerers, frauds. And they must seek help, or suffer in silence.

There's no shortage of shame these days, albeit most often from things far from shame-worthy. Meanwhile there often seems to be no shame at all where it ought to be.

I'm looking at you, ERISA insurance industry.

I am proud of my ERISA clients, as they seek to recoup no more than what they have earned. They do not only help themselves: their struggles sometimes lead to tweaks in an unfair law which might ameliorate the suffering of others in the same way.

We make our meager efforts to help ERISA claimants get the benefit they've earned, and sometimes to facilitate their recoupment of the pride and peace of mind they've earned. Others struggle in a multitude of manners in other arenas. No one -- no one -- makes it through without struggling.

So whatever your struggles may be, there's no reason for shame on that account. Fight the good fight, whatever your fight may be.

Thanks to the folks at Ace of Spades, and to EM and Warden, who remind us all there's no shame in struggling.

BTW, the Ace of Spades Morons (their word, not mine) are very, very witty, and more entertaining commentary is nowhere to be found IMO. And yesterday they just might have saved a life.

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