‘The more problems you have, the more alive you are’

This month’s Uniquely Cleveland features the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery near Rittman, a final resting place for members of the armed forces and eligible members of their families. It’s one of two national cemeteries in Ohio and in 2000 it was dedicated as a national cemetery.

Its director, Matthew Metschke, describes his role as one of compassion.

“I guess I was put on this planet to do this. It gives a lot of peace of mind to families.”

Whenever I hear the phrase “peace of mind,” it makes me think of a story by Norman Vincent Peale, the author of “The Power of Positive Thinking.” He describes how he once asked a friend how he was feeling and for 15 minutes, the man told all he had were problems, problems, problems.

“I can tell you of a place where there are hundreds of thousands of people with no problems at all,” Peale says.

The man immediately perked up and asked where that place was.

“Woodlawn Cemetery” Peale replied. “No one there has problems.”

Problems constitute a sign of life, and the more you have, the more alive you are, Peale says. He goes on to say that people will only grow strong by facing their problems and finding solutions, all the while having a positive attitude.

A CEO I once interviewed had a cash flow problem, and on a couple of occasions, she had to dip into her personal savings to meet payroll. She couldn’t take it any longer; she reviewed the problem to find a solution.

It came down to her bank’s firm position on her company’s line of credit. She saw that it wasn’t the circumstances that were causing the wrinkles in her bankbook but the size of the bank. She needed a larger bank with the ability to better negotiate her line of credit.

“So I found a larger bank that is really there for me and very supportive,” she says.

Her company is alive and doing well, thanks to realizing that problems are a sign of life.

Dennis Seeds is Editor-at-large for Smart Business Cleveland