Vail Valley Voices: Control the poison inside each of us |

Vail Valley Voices: Control the poison inside each of us

Greg Ziccardi
Vail, CO, Colorado

“Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon said that in 1970 something. It’s not necessarily profound, but accepted for its worth just because he said it.

Around 9 p.m. on a Saturday night in 2012, I realized some relevance to that quote. A lot of people get stopped short of finishing their plans and no one is exempt. Whatever your age, your worth, your color, your allegiance or your opinion, no one is ignored. A gifted young man broke a lot of hearts on that day. Mine included.

Let me introduce some of my friends first.

A guy that is happy to be working and another guy that always complains about where he works.

A woman with so much money her husband doesn’t know what to do with it.

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A guy who barely survives his lack of wealth because he only cares for his wife, who has M.S.

A 19-year-old who gets his girlfriend pregnant and an 18 year old girl who wants nothing to do with it.

A 4-month-old who has a heart attack and a 90-year-old who has a mind but not a thought for his behavior.

Parents who lost a son in a war that won’t end.

I don’t know this guy, but they told me about him on the television that night, and he seemed familiar to me. He is a 23-year-old man who was given the gift of athleticism. He makes a whole lot more money than his maturity level can deal with. He loves his 3-month-old daughter, and he adores her mother. They all live and play together – just livin’ the dream.

Something was troubling that young man when he murdered his fiancee and then himself. Consequently, he left that 3-month-old baby deprived of their love. I will not speculate why this happened or even repeat what some have suggested. I leave it as one of a thousand tragedies that occurred on a Saturday. This one just happened to get more press. (Did you ever notice how things like this always start out as unthinkable, left unresolved, and then forgotten?)

We all have some poison inside of us, and it makes no matter who you are. Whether you were born with a silver spoon dangling from your mouth or you dumpster dive for your next meal, we are all vulnerable to it.

I’m no therapist, but after living life with my friends and their experiences and being witness to strangers and their stories, I can only believe that anyone, at any time, can be troubled and confused for whatever reason.

Therefore we must insist not to be afraid or ashamed to reach out to a friend or a parent. We all have someone in our life who is willing to listen. Avoid the tragedy and drama for everyone’s sake, and let someone else influence you.

Or in other words, “make another plan and let life pass by.” That’s what Lennon wanted to do.

Greg Ziccardi can be reached at

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