Nana's pieces

My grandmother, Ruth Reis, is the conscience of the many writers among her progeny.  Here are a few of her own short pieces:

The Urge to Write

So you have an urge to write.  That's a good start.  But you feel a timidity about revealing your inner self on paper.  This restricts your writing to the impersonal.

Think again.  You don't expect to be one of the great writers of the world, and you are not asking for commendations.  What you really want to do is talk -- with a pen -- to someone who wants to listen to what you have to say.

There.  You have begun.  Choose any subject that interests you and get to work.  Scribble away.  And if you are not pleased when it is finished, throw it out.  Don't be discouraged.  Start again.

Now you feel a need to be more professional.  Imagine yourself to be the  reader.  Pull out the article you threw away.  You find it really contains the message you were aiming to get across, but it does not stress the point.  Eureka!  You have taught yourself the basis of good writing.

You are on your way.

What is Value?

Years ago when women had their hats made to order a woman brought her new brightly colored gown to her hat-maker and asked him to create a hat to match it. He showed her a wide ribbon of exactly the right color and material and wound it around her head - taking a tuck in here - spreading it out there - until it covered her head in charming fashion. She said "That's perfect; how much will it cost?" He answered_-, "$50", and she said "That's too much". He immediately unwound the ribbon and handed it to her saying "Now it will cost you only $3."

The other day the printer to my Word Processor ran out of ink. I had an extra cartridge but no one in the shop where I bought it knew how to install it. Being all thumbs myself, and feeling desperate at the thought of being without the use of my beloved machine, I stopped at the office of the building and asked one of our office managers if she knew someone who could solve my problem. She said "I can. Would you like me to come up in about 10 minutes'?" She came, and in less time than it took me to write this one paragraph she popped the cartridge into the machine. What value could I put on that?

When I get brochures from big companies listing salaries of top officials I cannot imagine what they actually accomplish to warrant those sky-high figures- while at the same time feeling it necessary to fire thousands of workers. But I am confused because I know if they kept the workers and paid them higher salaries the products they make would cost more. Recently I bought at a reputable department store the exact kind of a bathrobe I wanted, at a lower price than I had anticipated. When I was hanging it up at home I noticed it had a discreet label, "Made in Sultanate of Oman". Is there a solution to this kind of competition? Could even Alan Greenspan give us an answer? We all like to save a buck.

I wish I knew more about economics. Maybe less would be better, because I can't do anything about it anyway.