This morning as I was leaving the house to come to work at FOX, my 12-year-old son asked me a question that stopped me dead in my tracks.
"Hey dad, is America in a depression?" he said.
And I said "No, why do you ask?"
"Because I hear everybody talking about the economy and all this trouble that I don't understand," he said.
"What do you know about the Great Depression of the 1920s," I asked.
"Well," he said, "I know there was no money and I think people were jumping out of buildings in New York."
I tried to reassure him that things were okay and that nobody was jumping out of windows...yet.
But as I left, I started thinking about our conversation, and I asked myself_ Why do innocent people suffer? How is all this anxiety and stress over the current economic crisis going to be remembered by the next generation in America?
Yes, every mental health professional will tell us that there are multiple studies that correlate severe financial debt and depression - even suicide.
I remember reading a recent report of two college student that killed themselves after being overwhelmed by credit card debt.
In India, an estimated 150,000 debt-ridden farmers have committed suicide since 1997.
Yes, we all know that suicide is not the solution, but again I asked myself, why do innocent people suffer?
And as I stopped to ponder the answer to my burning question, I began to evaluate some of the things that many of us have forgotten - the things that are truly important.
Love and respect for ourselves and others - that's what's important. You can't buy happiness. The integrity of our lives and the way we love and respect the people we are so fortunate to have in them is far more important than any economic indicator on Wall Street.
So I thought long and hard, and I decided to tell my son the biblical story of Job - a story I think many people should read in these times of financial crisis.
Job was a happy man, a wealthy man who lived a prosperous life filled with family and good fortune. But one day, Job was tested by God. He was stripped of his fortune, his family and his health. Job began to complain of God's indifference, he wondered why God did not punish the wicked instead of him. But after all of his analysis, he understood that what was important to God was the love that should never be questioned -- the love that he has for his children. And, in the end, Job's prosperity was restored.
Why do innocent people suffer? Because perhaps they forget that love, compassion and respect settles all debt.