It’s Never Too Late for Hope
Lately there hasn’t been much positive in the news, but this story is inspiring on all levels.
Ninety-year-old Ian Thierman and his wife Terri have lost their entire life savings of about $ 700,000 which was invested in the Bernard Madoff scam. They retired twenty five years ago. Today Ian is a grocery store greeter for $ 10.00 an hour, working 30 hours a week in a job especially created for him by the supermarket owner.He took the job to make his home payments and pay his wife’s medical bills.
It’s a Matter of How You Look At it
If Thierman’s willingness to start over at age ninety isn’t impressive enough, his attitude is definitely inspiring. We have seen the depressed and angry interviews with Madoff’s investors, and rightly so, they should have those feelings. However, Thierman’s attitude is strikingly different. In a CNN television interview Thierman he is calm, optimistic and grateful to be able to pick up the pieces of his life. He chooses to look at his future with a positive attitude and not dwell on his losses, but instead count his gains.
When asked how he feels about working in a supermarket at his age, Thierman simply smiles and says, “I’m still healthy enough to go to work.” Thierman commends the market owner for creating a job for him. “I appreciate what he is doing for me. He is an incredible man and he is going to do whatever it takes to keep us afloat.”
Finding the Good
For fifteen years Thierman said his money stayed strong with Madoff’s investments. And this is exactly why people think he should be devastated over his loss, but Thierman sees life differently. He looked for the positive side of working at the supermarket, “
I greet people as they come in the door, and I can be enthusiastic about the quality of the food. And I express that enthusiasm. I’m going to do the best I can.”
Accepting What is
One of the hardest things for any of us to do is to find acceptance in our losses, but it’s that acceptance of life, knowing we can’t change the past, is what gives us peace over heartache.
Thierman embraces the present working in the supermarket. “It’s a fact of life,” he says, “And I accept it as it is and I do the best I can at what I’m doing.”
And how do the Thierman’s feel about Bernard Madoff still living in his $ 7 million Manhattan penthouse and an additional $ 62 million in assets he is seeking to keep? Surprisingly the Thiermans are not bitter. They have taken a higher view.
“I really feel sorry for him because he has to live with what he has done,” says Terri with sincere compassion. “He has to live with the hurt he has done to many individuals and many institutions. The pent house may be nice to be in, but I’m sure as he looks at what he did, and the pent house must not be that comfortable.”
Optimistic About the Future
When asked how long will he stay at the supermarket, Thierman says, “I’ll stay until I find something financially better. It’s a tremendous opportunity. I’ve got a job to do.”