DEAR ABBY: In a recent column, a writer stated that it was foolish to work for nothing as a hospital volunteer. Thanks for saying, "The rewards are far more valuable than money." You're so right, Abby.
In 1988, a study was done by the University of Michigan Survey Research Center. They followed 2,700 people in Tecumseh, Mich., over a 10-year period to determine the impact of social relationships on health. They found that regular volunteer work, more than any other activity, dramatically increased life expectancy!This was especially significant for men: Men who did no volunteer work were 21/2 times more likely to die during the course of the 10-year study than those who volunteered at least once a week.
Research at Yale, the University of California, Johns Hopkins, the National Institute of Mental Health and Ohio State supports these findings. - LONGTIME VOLUNTEER LEADER, MECHANICSVILLE, VA.
DEAR LEADER: So what else is new? People who spend their time doing for others feel useful, productive and good about themselves. Volunteers, particularly those who work in hospitals, hospices and nursing homes, are too busy to dwell on their own troubles or feel depressed.
Those who give - get!
DEAR ABBY: I want to clear up a common misconception that has resulted in many painful feelings.
My best friend is 17 years old. She's pretty and popular, and she's worn a pacemaker for two years that I know of. Until people get to know her, they make rude comments like, "My grandfather has one of those - what's wrong with you? I thought they were only for old people."
This has caused a great deal of pain for my friend. I just wish you'd tell people that pacemakers aren't such a horrible thing. My friend is able to run, dance, swim and do everything I can do. Abby, please set the record straight and encourage people to be more understanding of this heart condition. - A FRIEND IN PITTSBURGH
DEAR FRIEND: Thanks for giving me this opportunity to state that anyone who has a heart is old enough to have a heart problem. And thanks to the advances in medical science and technology, we now have that modern miracle - the pacemaker.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter who lives in another city believes she has a ghost or spirit living in her house. She says that ever since she rented this house, things get moved around, lights get turned on, doors open by themselves, etc.
She is really upset by all this and doesn't know what to do. My suggestion was to move quickly, but moving is expensive, and besides, she can't find another place she can afford right now.
My question is: Is there some way to get the ghost to move so she won't have to?
I am not crazy, and neither is she. - LOUISE IN MARYSVILLE, WASH.
DEAR LOUISE: Advise your daughter to phone the clergyperson of her choice and ask whether he or she performs exorcisms (the act of expelling evil spirits). And if her clergyperson does not perform exorcisms, ask if he or she knows of someone who does. It may not help, but it can't hurt.
Want your phone to ring? Get Abby's booklet, "How to Be Popular" - for people of all ages. To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)