>I couldn't fall asleep last night. As I lay in the darkness, listening to Husband breathe, clinging to Theo (my teddy bear), my mind would not let go of several disturbing things that I'd read over the past few months. Basically, we are in this whole mortgage meltdown mess because a lot of people feel no remorse about ripping their neighbors off. Brokers unethically baited-and-switched homebuyers into loans different than those promised, pocketing huge fees for luring unsuspecting borrowers into riskier loans that were more lucrative for banks to package, securitize, and sell to unsuspecting investors. I read an article about credit card debt collectors lying to grieving relatives about their responsibility to pay for their deceased loved one's debt, then justifying it by saying that they were doing people a favor by letting them clear the air. When I can't fall asleep because the amoral behavior of other people keeps me awake, I wonder why those people don't have consciences and how that happened.

I was particularly distressed last night because earlier that evening, my mom told me that they have had to help their next door neighbor several times over the last ten days. My parents have shared a driveway with Mrs. S for over 33 years. When my sister and I were kids, she invited us over to bake traditional Danish Christmas cookies and decorate her tree with paper basket ornaments. She also hosted a Christmas party for the neighborhood kids, teaching us how to play moose (I have no idea if I spelled that properly), a game with cookies that are the size of pebbles. We also went on chocolate egg hunts at her home during Easter. Even today, Mrs. S brings a plate of Christmas cookies and homemade marzipan to my parents every December.

When my sister was born, I slept in one of Mrs. S's spare bedrooms. When my mom was taken to the hospital once in the middle of the night, Mrs. S opened her door to my footie pajamaed body. When I first figured out why toilet seats were necessary, I was on an overnight visit at Mrs. S's house. I sleepily crept down the hall and plunked myself down on the toilet without looking, only to be rudely awakened by cold water lapping at my tushie. For some reason, Mrs. S had left the seat up.

Ever since my parents moved into their house, they also kept an eye on Mrs. S. She has diabetes, and sometimes would fall into a diabetic coma. Many times over the years, my dad rushed over in the middle of the night after my mom looked out our kitchen window and into Mrs. S's and noticed that she was behaving oddly. Her friends and relatives would call our house when they were worried that Mrs. S didn't answer the phone, and ask us to see if her car was in the driveway, and if so, check on her. My parents did this with no complaints; why would they mind helping out?

Anyway, my parents received dozens of calls from Mrs. S's family last week, and also had to call the paramedics a few times when she was not responsive to a glass of orange juice or insulin, depending on the situation. When my mom mentioned something to a co-worker about a 2:30 am check in she made, her colleague said that it was very nice of my parents to be so concerned.

"Why wouldn't we be?" my mom wondered.

"A lot of people," her co-worker sighed, "just dont' care."

I know that these people justify their actions in many ways, but it boggles my mind that they sleep soundly at night, while I stay up worrying about the world.

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