This letter is in response to Tessa Green's letter of July 31, "Our Epidemic of Despair."

For certain, there are reasons some may feel a sense of despair in this country. But, there are also many reasons for hope. For all her flaws, our country is still a place many wish to come to, legally or illegally, because they recognize that it is still a place where opportunities abound.

Yes, one can certainly choose to be a victim and engage in endless hand-wringing while blaming the government, the administration that is in power, and corporations, for their situation. Or, individuals can decide to get up off their rumps, quit feeling sorry for themselves, and work to get out of any negative situation they may find themselves in.

Unfortunately, choosing to give up, and even resort to suicide, has always been the path some will choose - that is human nature. And the reasons behind those decisions can be legion. But to suggest, as Ms. Green seems to do in her letter, that the condition in our country now are so profoundly dismal that despair is the only recourse available, seems to me to be only looking to place blame without (a victim mentality and often a self-fulfilling one), rather than encouraging individuals to recognize the opportunities this country has and to look within themselves for the courage and drive to build successful and happy lives on their own.

Daniel Watkins

Corvallis (July 31)

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