Saturday, January 15, 2011

reflection from Tuscon:When

Here is my article from today's Island Packet.

Reflections on Tucscon: When?

Here is my column in the Island Packet published on Saturday. I hope you will take a look.
Shavua Tov
A good week.

Dear Reader                   
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. I hope you will leave a comment. In addition your comments can be anonymous if you prefer. Part of what makes creating a blog interesting is for others to comment.  It is like creating an online community. That is one of my goals for developing this project. You do not need to be a follower of the blog to access the blog site. Signing up as follower of the blog only means you receive an automatic email of the daily post itself.  It does require you to create a Google account email which is no big deal.  I will not share any lists or names with anyone else.  Click on the link then you will go to the blog. Tell me what you think of the blog site. I am appreciative of any suggestions to improve it. Finally, please feel free to share the blog post with a friend! And if you would prefer to be removed from this blog post list then just write in the subject window “unsubscribe” and I will remove your name.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Memorial Service in Tucson

Reactions to the Memorial Service in Tucson
It is sometimes amazing what will touch a chord in the soul of person. I sat down to listen to the speech on television like the rest of the nation. The commentators have been postulating all kinds of theories regarding this moment and this speech in the Obama presidency.
Unexpectedly, my emotions got the better of me when I listened to the first musical piece that the orchestra played. It was Aaron Copland’s “The Common Man.” I have heard portions of it in the movies but not the entire piece. Suddenly tears started to emerge and gently flow down upon my cheeks.
Why did that happen? I suspect that this music reminded me of the majestic dignity of the American person. Our great arms and shoulders lifted this nation to greatness. Our muscles and the integrity and unity of spirit has made this nation the beacon of light for all who aspire to a better life. There is a quiet dignity of this music as if I was walking inside Arlington’s National Cemetery through the rows of soldiers who gave their lives to protect what we all value as our freedoms, or our way of life.
Somehow the music lifted my spirits beyond the political pundits and the debates raging on public policy issues that have surfaced since the alleged shooter went on a crazed rampage of killing last Saturday. Maybe the music captured some pent up emotions from this tragedy that finally rose to the surface when I heard the brass and the percussion of Copland’s “The Common Man.” What makes this country great is the everyday citizen. It is the person who grows up and never looks for the limelight but who raises a family, pays their taxes and enjoys the fruits of their labors. And then that moment arrives when an emergency occurs and the average decent person rises to the occasion and sees the challenge that a community or a nation faces. The common man, the American man and woman rises in spirit and body to the occasion. The American, robed in dignity and glory, and in quiet humility gets the job done for the welfare of the community. That is the common man, the first responders; the people protected and initially cared for the wounded until they could be transported to the Hospital.
What I love about being an American is in those moments of great adversity how we face challenges and overcome obstacles and perform in a righteous and humble fashion. The music of Aaron Copland allowed me to see something in us that words could not communicate.
I know that there are many issues which I feel need to be debated in our community about the continuing tragedy of gun violence and treating the mentally ill. We own this problem and it is an American problem. But before we tackle these issues in the public domain there must be a spiritual connection to enable us to have the dialogue and fix what is hurting our culture.
Music can lift our spirits and inspire us  to  our task which  is a noble one and  that the events of Tucson will propel us to a better place securing  our country’s future.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A tragedy in Tuscon

Let me begin by saying that I have taken a break from blogging over the last week. We went away to visit family. But now I have returned and will resume the fusion613 blog.

My sense is that the crimes committed against the congresswoman and her staff that included the other victims will lead us into important contemplation and introspection over the next few weeks.  We are all shocked, horrified and bewildered by the young man who is suspected of committing these unspeakable actions.
We will be reading many news reports. All kinds of information will be flowing out of media sources. Commentators will latch onto these issues and analyze them from the political, moral, and even the theological level. No doubt we will all have to make up our minds in the time to come concerning the significance of these crimes. Right now we pray for the recovery of the wounded. We mourn for those who died.
I will leave you with a question. I listened to the CNN interview with a Stephen Farely who is the elected official that replaced Congresswoman Gifford in the Arizona State House. He wanted to reassure the public and Americans in general that the actions of this young man in Tucson did not reflect the character of the people of Arizona. He said, “this is not who we are.”
I appreciate his passion to defend his state. But I must think about his statement. We should think about what this man said. “This is not who we are!” Really? I am not saying yes this who we have become or no, America is not about this kind of person. It is an important question. Do not dismiss this question so fast. It deserves our consideration.
I will return to this question. Please God, may it be your will to bring a complete healing to the wounded and provide them strength on their recovery. Bestow upon them and their families the faith they need to get through these days.
Dear God, let it be that in this moment you will instill courage to the families who must now bury their loved ones.  May all their loved ones join together to support the grieving families and day by day stand by their side in this hour of darkness. Show your light of compassion and love upon all who are in need of your presence. Amen