Special Report

A Precious Morning

Feeling pretty low until opening an e-mail from a soldier in Iraq.

By 7.20.06

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WEDNESDAY
This morning I awakened from a pleasant dream in which I was talking about old times with my former assistants, the beautiful Julie and Vicki, of the glorious days of "roof testing" at USC fame, and went in to see my wife hard at work on her e-mail, then went to my e-mail, and then saw a cutting letter from a close relative to whom I am nothing but kind, and then a confused letter from a TV executive with whom I work, then a later apology from him noting that he was, as he put it, "...heavily medicated," then a barrage of letters from an editor with whom I work, seeming to me to take the heart out of a piece I wrote for a Major Newspaper.

I was feeling pretty low until I then opened up an e-mail from a soldier in Iraq for whom I pray (not as much as I should). He said that one of his best friends had just lost an eye to an IED explosion. He wondered why he was not hit...he was usually where the man who lost the eye was standing and he's taller and if he were there, he would have been killed in a flash by having his neck cut open. Maybe, he said, he survived because Ben Stein prayed for him. I know this man because I met his Mom at a speech I gave in Vegas and told her in an elevator that I would pray for her son as I hugged her.

I was thrown to my knees to pray to God to thank Him for sending these magnificent men and women who put their lives on the line and my own trivial nothings into perspective.

Then my wife showed up with her glorious, perfect smile, and my dog stretched and licked my face -- she doesn't know she has just had a cancerous lump removed and faces radiation, the dog, not the wife, thank God -- and every touch of my wife and my dog are precious. PRECIOUS.

How lucky can one guy get? How blessed, to sit in the air conditioning, play with my dog and my computer, and have the most perfect wife on earth bring me tea while men and women who are in EVERY SENSE BETTER THAN I AM offer up their comfort and their young lives for me and the hundreds of millions of other slobs like me so we can hug our dogs and our wives?

Every day should be Thanksgiving by us for them. EVERY DAY, EVERY HOUR, EVERY MINUTE. Let's all do it together.

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About the Author

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes "Ben Stein's Diary" for every issue of The American Spectator.