Dear Abby | Man who lost his ‘spark’ gets inspiration from readers

Dear Abby: I’m responding to “Wallowing in the North” (June 16), who has had a wonderful life and has accomplished all the goals he set out for himself at age 56, but now feels no “spark” to carry on. Abby, he’s in a unique position to help someone else who hasn’t had all those advantages in life.

He could foster a child and enlighten that child about a world he/she might never know without his help. Wouldn’t it spark something inside him to see a child’s reactions to things the writer may have experienced a hundred times and took for granted? There’s so much ugliness and anger in this world. He could play a small part in turning that around.

Or, if helping a child isn’t for him, there are many other wonderful causes to get involved in – aiding a cancer patient in hospice, being involved in protecting the environment, helping a small business – the list is endless and the need is so great. Any of these endeavors could help him relight his spark. Finding meaning in life can be as simple as extending a hand to someone who can really use it. – Found My Spark

Dear Found: You and many other readers offered wonderful suggestions. I appreciate the spirit of helpfulness in which readers responded, hoping to inspire the writer of that letter. Read on for a sample:

Dear Abby: Tell “Wallowing” to pick up a course catalog from his local community college and enroll in some classes. He can take art and learn to paint, sculpt or make ceramics; study photography and learn to shoot better pictures; take woodworking and build furniture; take an American Sign Language class and volunteer to work with the deaf; or sign up for a foreign language, culinary or film appreciation course.

I’m just scratching the surface because community colleges have something for everyone. I have taught in one and been an administrator. It’s a wonderful place to “find” yourself, whether you’re 18, 88 – or 56. – Diana In California

Dear Abby: I would like to suggest “Wallowing” talk to his doctor about his testosterone level. I did it, and it boosted my self-esteem, drive and energy. – Roger In Oklahoma