Peace on Earth
This year has been a difficult one filled with political conflicts and division. People have severed relationships with family members, co-workers and neighbors. Let’s hope these relationships can be restored.
We do not have to sacrifice personal opinions about issues we feel strongly about. We simply need to remember the brevity of life and the importance of relationships. If we could ask the many who passed away in the last year, they could no doubt enlighten us about what’s truly important.
Christmas is a season of joy and good cheer, no matter what beliefs you hold. Its songs are about joy and peace, not conflict. This is a good time to soften our hearts and be more accepting of those with whom we differ politically. We are all part of humanity on the same journey through life. Above all, we must remove hatred from our lives, because its worst impact is on ourselves.
Next year can be better, and it is up to each of us make it happen.
Power of baseball
“Baseball brings people together.”
Bob Kendrick said those words as we played catch on the Field of Legends at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. It is one of my favorite phrases.
I first experienced the power of baseball to unite when Royals superfan SungWoo Lee visited Kansas City in 2014 from his native South Korea. I watched from Springfield, Mo., as a city extended him the Royal treatment.
In 2015, the Royals ran away with the division, mourned the loss of parents together and embraced fallen firefighters on the way to becoming world champions, followed by a parade for the ages. It was an experience of baseball at its best in bringing people together.
Over the past year, I visited with people from every state asking how baseball is more than just a game.
In Missouri, I learned about Royals general manager Dayton Moore’s “C” You in the Major Leagues Foundation, developing character-driven leaders through the game.
In Kansas, I swung for the fences at Shawnee Mission North’s Bombs 4 Bo benefit, helping a family with medical expenses through a home run derby. I didn’t hit a home run.
While media focus on racial, religious, political and economic divisions in this great country, I am convinced baseball can again bring us together.
Wanna have a catch?
The holidays are a difficult time for a new widow or widower, like myself, having lost my wife of almost 39 years to cancer seven months ago. There are expectations of holiday traditions from the kids and grandkids, such as lights and decorating, which may not be of much interest.
It is not unusual for two or more women to attend a play, ballet or the symphony. But for a single guy, especially an older one, the options are attend solo, tag along with a married couple as the dreaded third wheel or simply don’t go.
If a guy asks his male friends, they will likely answer that they go to those kinds of things only if their wives make them. Guys go out with other guys to do what are seen socially as “guy things” — ballgames, car shows, bowling.
Women, on the other hand, don’t feel such limits, and get together at the drop of a hat, often leaving husbands at home for their “girlfriend time.”
I suppose one answer is that time heals, to the degree that a guy does go out and enjoy the moments solo, without any pangs of loss challenging his enjoyment. But why should a guy have to go alone or take a date just to fit in?
Friends say, “Don’t worry about what anyone thinks. Just go and have fun.” But that is easier said than done.
It is hard going to things that you used to do as a couple, not having your sidekick with you.
Social norms concerning seeing two men out together socially are not going to change quickly, if they ever do.
In my mind, women have a distinct advantage over men in the social arena, where no one is concerned with two, three or more ladies out having a good time as girlfriends. I expect that I am not alone in this revelation.
New Year’s wishes
As 2018 approaches, we want to hear what you’re hoping for in the new year. Submit your letter at kansascity.com/letters and we will publish the best.