Martha Randolph Carr Martha Randolph Carr, 7/7/2008 [Archive]

A Matter of Perspective

A Matter of Perspective

By Martha Randolph Carr

Dave Pelzer is on a mission to change your attitude. Most people will remember him as the author of the compelling memoir, A Child Called 'It', about his harrowing childhood and out-of-control mother who never quite got around to calling him by name.Just to put it into perspective, the story, Running with Scissors, had the good mother.

At the age of twelve Dave, now in his forty's, was found by a neighbor rummaging through trash for food, barely alive. All of that information is necessary so you can appreciate his personal mantras on living a good life. It's a miracle of sorts.

Frankly, it would be considered a miracle if I was able to report that he just holds down a job and shows up every day. But where he is in life goes so far beyond that, that maybe it would be a good idea for the rest of us to sit up and pay attention. Fortunately for those of us who are weighed down by more typical fears of self-worth and money and love, Dave has written a new book, Moving Forward: Taking the Lead in Your Life, that is geared toward getting us to realize on a cellular level one basic truth. Attitude is everything. An even better subtitle might be, quit your belly-aching and get on with it. That right there makes you want to buy a few copies for that certain person, doesn't it? Hang in there, you may have a shocking realization at some point that some of what he has to say applies to you as well. That's the good news because with recognition comes positive change.

Now, this is where that old idea of knowing something in your head and knowing something in your heart plays a big role. Those of us who had childhoods with any sense of normalcy have the luxury of playing out ideas in our head but never really getting around to test-driving them. Dave, on the other hand, had to choose at twelve whether or not he wanted to build a life worth living. And that was without any personal knowledge of decency, love, a bed, school or day trips to the amusement park. Void of any reason for wanting to thrive, he chose to let go and give gratitude for this new spot he found.

It is an amazing understatement that Dave says those first years, 'definitely made me more appreciative,' and means it. He now spends most of each year on the road teaching others to let loose of the grip of the past and admit to the blessings they have now. Next week he is headed to Baghdad to once again chat with the troops.

One of the fundamental teachings of his new book is that service to others is vital if we are to realize our own potential. We become less fascinated with our sense of unique misery and start to see how we can contribute to a better picture.

Moving Forward is filled with the anecdotes and stories he has gathered from his extensive travels and has a quality that makes change seem possible for anyone and starting today, right where you are. 'At the end of the day, if you're happy with your efforts you did a good job,' says Dave. It's the quality of mercy, which embodies forgiveness, over justice, which requires judgment and therefore a winner and a loser. No one likes to be pinpointed as the loser.

If you've been wondering how to let go of resentments, forgive others or yourself for just being human or maybe even more heinous acts and want a simple way to build a good life, try out Dave's ideas and become part of the solution in practice, not just theory. There will be less whining about what everyone else should be doing and more personal service, which will inevitably cause things to change for the better for everyone one step at a time. More adventures to follow.

© 2008 Martha Randolph Carr. Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email

Martha Randolph Carr's latest book, A Place to Call Home about the reemergence of U.S. orphanages is available wherever books are sold. If you'd like Martha to come and speak to your group visit: Author's email: or visit Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo

Download Martha Randolph Carr's color photo - Download Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo
Why not run a cartoon with the column? We recommend the cartoons below as a good compliment to Martha Randolph Carr's topic.
Click on the thumbnail images to preview and download the cartoons.

Related Cartoons

Food for Thought
By: Ares

June 23, 2007

Fighter / COLOR
By: Ares

November 16, 2005

Strong Mind\
By: Ares

March 25, 2005

Strong Mind /COLOR
By: Ares

March 25, 2005

Tough Decision
By: Angel Boligan

June 16, 2008

We do not accept and will not review unsolicited submissions from cartoonists.
Sales & Information: (805) 969-2829
Billing Information: (805)
Technical Support:

FREE cartoons for your website if you're already a paying print subscriber!
Artwork and columns are copyrighted by each creator. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service