No. 382

Several months ago I got a letter from a gentleman in Florida who sent me a brochure with these words printed on the front. Let Go Of Your Anger & Put A Smile On Your Face And You Will Soon Feel The Difference. Considering his background, these are amazing statements and I believe you will agree with me when you hear his story. This gentlemans name is David Bergman. He lives in Hernando, Florida and owns and operates Remembrance Educational Media, where he has written multi-media educational materials that are in use in over 8000 schools throughout the United States and several foreign countries.
What makes David Bergmans story so amazing is that he is also an author, speaker, inventor and survivor of the Nazi Holocaust. In all my days as a columnist I have had thousands of letters from readers, but never one from a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust and I felt honored that he would write to me. He was responding to a column that I had written about decisions that ran in the Citrus Country Chronicle published in Crystal River, Florida. If you have ever felt low or depressed because of your circumstances or background, this mans story could definitely give you a lift. Since everything is relative, please listen to his story and see by comparison, if you do not count yourself as one of the most blessed people on earth.
David was born in Czechoslovakia and at the age of twelve, he and his family and all the Jewish people in his hometown were deported to Auschwitz. During the next fourteen months he was taken to four other Nazi death camps, where millions perished. After he was liberated, he learned that he was the only one from his family to survive and the only youth of his age who made it back alive. After being set free, he wanted to find out who within him made the decisions and who guided him safely through one life threatening experience after another.
After a period of over twenty-five years of intense study of the brain and interacting that knowledge with the life threatening experiences he encountered in the Nazi death camps, he learned the following. He learned the words, I WANT, were the hallmark of his survival. I WANT to live, I WANT to survive, I WANT to be set free again and be re-united with my family. You see, he had literally programmed his mind and at this point his auto pilot took over and gave him the will to survive. As he says, All the decisions were made for me by that internal and invisible guiding force.
One of the things that helped him greatly was humor. Listen to these words; When I was held captive early in the death camps, a few of us victims who somehow managed to maintain a positive outlook on life would get together secretly after work just to exchange humorous stories. These exchanges helped us to temporarily numb the horrors we faced, thus making it possible for us to make it through another difficult and trying day. When he was liberated, he again applied humor to help him cope from the devastating losses of loved ones, home country and identity. What a story!
After having come to grips with his past, David decided that he wanted to make something out of his life and make a contribution to others. He came to the realization that Humor is also very important today, in order to be able to cope with the many unpleasant and stressful situations we are all exposed to. As a result, he began to collect various humorous phrases that would put a smile on his face. As he says, You dont have to be a Doctor to prescribe humor.
Here are several of the humorous phrases that are printed in David Bergmans brochure. Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them, There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about, The trouble with being a good sport is that you have to lose to prove it., I want less corruption, or more opportunities to participate in it, If you want your dreams to come true, you must first wake up, Most people are willing to change not because they see the light, but because they feel the heat, The closest to perfection most people ever come, is when he or she fills out a job application, and one more, Sorry I forgot your birthday, but that is not going to happen again. Next time, I am not going to be sorry.
While I dont know about you, I would say its pretty amazing to see a man come from Davids background and have this kind of outlook on life. Whats more, this man has made a great success out of his life. If you are angry about something, get over it. Put a smile on your face and get out there, work hard and have fun while you are achieving success and you can laugh all the way to the bank. God Bless America. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)