I have read the letters and The Kansas City Star’s editorial regarding Michael Vick. (July 28, 14A, “Michael Vick as a Chiefs coach: No and no”)
Forgiving Vick is what we need to do for our own well-being, not his. By forgiving the transgressions of others toward us, toward those we love and toward others (including animals, as in this case), we release the anger and hatred that will otherwise grow like a cancer inside us.
Whether Vick deserves forgiveness is not up to me or you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we have forgotten the horror that was inflicted on the innocent.
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Nine years ago, my son was murdered in a random act of violence. His case became a cold case almost immediately. Our family was treated with great indifference by many. It led me through a whole range of emotions, including blame, hatred and revenge — all in the name of justice.
That tragic event changed me, but not in a good way. It nearly consumed me. Once I truly forgave those who murdered my son and forgave those who played a role in making this horrible event even worse for our family, I began to experience normalcy in my life.
The greatest fear that Christians (or members of any organized religion for that matter) should have is that Gov. Sam Brownback, the new U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, does for religious freedom what he has done for (and to) Kansas and its residents.
The July 30 Star contained these two seemingly unrelated stories: the severe staffing shortage at the Lansing Correctional Facility (4A, “Kansas prison staff shortage worries workers, lawmakers”) and dangerous party buses operating nationwide (1A, “Party bus buzzkill”).
The connection? Governmental agencies are increasingly unable to provide adequate services because the political right has convinced a gullible public that government is a bad investment, proclaiming that government should be shrunk until it can be “drowned in the bathtub.”
At Lansing, the starting salary is less than $15 an hour. Where would you prefer to work: McDonald’s or a prison?
Elsewhere, at least 19 people have died in buses that should not have been on the road. The victims made the fatal mistake of assuming their government had sufficient resources to fulfill its responsibilities and ensure their safety.
The political right wants us to believe that starving the government is without consequences. The bus riders who never came home should open our eyes to the fact that we are being taken for a ride, to a destination none of us wants.
Prison riot, anyone? Oh, wait — that story also ran on the same day. (4A, “Prison disturbance in Kansas said to have involved 30 inmates”)
As the excitement increases in anticipation of the total solar eclipse, it reminds me of the last time Kansas City was in the path of the moon’s shadow. It was a special day for me — my birthday — but also as a planetarium director, I was able to share the event with students at Southwest High School.
That was May 10, 1994, when we were in the path not of totality but annularity. That time, the moon was farther away so that its apparent size was smaller than the sun’s apparent size. Instead of a blocked sun surrounded by its corona, there was a “ring of fire” — the annulus — surrounding the moon, in effect making it a partial eclipse.
This total eclipse could be a once-in-a-lifetime event for many of us, and being just outside the path of totality and watching only the partial eclipse is like having your favorite ice cream cone and just looking at it. Find a safe place within the shadow path and enjoy a natural experience unlike any other.
My wife is one of many adults suffering from the horrible disease frontotemporal degeneration, or dementia in the frontal lobe of the brain. Hers is the behavioral variant.
A recent visit to the emergency room of a local hospital for treatment of a nasty cut on her head exposed the ignorance of the staff to this condition. A patient can lash out about things he or she thinks are threatening. She felt caged in the hospital ER, and the staff had no idea how to relieve the situation.
In my humble opinion, a seminar concerning dementia-related diseases needs to be administered to hospital staffs. Both the employees and anxious relatives like me could feel more compassion and relief from them.