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Dear Reader,

View this page as a place where you and I can have a conversation on subjects that are meaningful to both of us. On a regular basis I plan to post a topic or question on my mind which I encourage you to respond to (see below).

On this same page you will also find some of the responses that have been sent in by those who have viewed this web site. Please feel free to submit your own questions and thoughts which I might comment on and share with other viewers. I truly look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Archive for February, 2006

Morning Headlines Fear and Despair

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

A newspaperman all my life, I wake up each morning fearful of what news will await me in the morning newspapers delivered at my door. What will it be today? News from Iraq about the latest suicide bombings or insurgents causing havoc that will incense Shiites and Sunnis, the killing of innocent Iraqi citizens and American soldiers? Will it be more demonstrations leading to deaths because of the cartoons drawn about Muhammad? Will it be exhortations by the President of Iran inciting anti-Semitism? Will it be some more news about the threat of terrorism?
What kind of world has this become? I ask myself. Where is the good between people, the love we should have for each other? This is not the world I envisioned for my daughter when she was born soon after the tumult of the civil race riots and movement of the Sixties? I had thought that with time the world would get better and we would learn to live in peace. How wrong I was.
But there is also something good I read in the newspaper. It is an article by Nora Boustany in the Feb. 17 Washington Post, about a woman who has devoted her life to teaching children in war zones to sing and play instruments as a way to bring them out of their trauma. Her name is Liz Shropshire, founder and director of the Shropshire Music Foundation (www.teachingchildrenpeace.com). He has gone to places like Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Uganda bringing with her donated musical instruments and books. She goes to a war-torn area and teaches children how to play instruments. She says, ”This music therapy not only gives kids a sense of accomplishment and pride…Simultaneously reading music, counting rhythms and playing an instrument leaves little mental space for thinking about the atrocities of the war.” She adds: ”I want children to feel good enough about themselves so they can stand up and say ‘I am not going to be pulled into this war.”’
I am thankful to know that there are people like Liz Shropshire who are making the world a little better at a time when so many people are giving up hope. Do you know people who are making the world better, too? If so, please write.

A Young, Vulnerable Son

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

The newspaper photograph shows a father helping his injured soldier son as he learns to use his prosthetic legs at Walter Reed Hospital. The young man, only 24, lost his legs and his left arm when a roadside bomb in Iraq hit his Humvee. The photograph, which shows a stocky father steadying his son as he tries to stand and walk with his prosthetic legs, breaks your heart as you try to put yourself in the position of the young soldier as he so trustingly relies on his dad to brace him. The photograph captures all the love an devotion a parent feels toward his child and all the trust a child can give a parent. And you say a prayer for the young man with all his hard life ahead of him. And you wonder where he will get the courage to continue living and see himself through this terrible time as he embarks on this new stage of his life. And you wonder whether you would have the strength and determination to get through this period yourself if you were in his place. And you ask God with all your heart to let this terrible war be over and to bring our children safely home to America, and you beg God for peace to come to that war-torn nation. And you wonder what lies ahead.
The newspaper photograph tears you up and you question the price that people pay when they are called to war. No life is worth losing.

Where do our spirits go?

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

On the recent one-year anniversary of the terrible Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed the lives of more than 220,000 people, people lovingly released thousands of hot-air floating paper lanterns into the sky. They looked like floating beacons of light or stars as they rose to the sky. Photos in newspapers showed people on the beach with hands raised as they released the lanterns to honor the dead, and I was thinking I hope, when I die, that someone who once loved me and remembered me would do somthing like that to acknowledge my spirit, to affirm that I once was here, walking among them.
The individual lanterns represented the love that people have for the people they lost, and made me wonder what happened to all the spirits of the people who perished. It is hard to believe that their spirits are lost, too. Rather, I hope they encircle us and protect us and emanate love to us. I don’t think that the spirit of love dies. None of us can ever have enough love in this world, can we?
What do you think about the floating lanterns and what happens to our spirits when we die and our bodies fail us? Where does the force of our life go? Is it lost or does it remain here? Write to me.

How would it feel to own some moon or star dust?

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

I read recently about the Stardust space capsule that collected tens of thousands of tiny particles of dust from a comet orbiting the sun, beyond Mars. They are the most primitive materials in the solar system and will help scientists understand more about the birth of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago. I read, too, about former astronaut Alan Bean who visits schools and often reaches into his pocket for some ”noon dust” and to sprinkle on the heads of children. Bean was the fourth man to walk on the moon’s surface.
I kept asking myself what would it be like to own star or moon dust or have them sprinkled on me. Would I feel special or different after being touched by particles thousands of years old from space? Would it give me new powers? Would it enrich my imagination and my hopes and dreams?
What about you? How would you feel if your were sprinkled with star or moon dustry? What do you think? Write to me.