Alienation and anger are part of our mass shooting problem

May I add a few observations regarding what sadly has come to be a ritual in our country ­— mass shootings. The media will often describe the shooter — usually a young man — as alienated, meaning he has not been integrated into society. While partly accurate, that explanation may not get to the heart of the problem.

Well before the young man begins to plan his revenge on society, he has unsuccessfully dealt with a problem common to us all — how to deal with anger. “Lay aside anger,” writes Saint Paul, and it is a very important instruction to obey. Each of us must recognize his anger, and deal with it — lay it aside, then act. It is harmful to repress it, and harmful to those around us to pursue it.

Sometimes we wrongly instruct the young that it is necessary to get angry to oppose social evils or even to play your best in sports. Add to that instruction the rhetoric, “you can change the world,” and there can be hell to pay when anger drives some few to hatred and contempt for even strangers in a mall.

Back in the 1980s there was a movement in our country to build self-esteem in the young. I recall an observer writing that self-esteem building pursued without love, discipline, instruction, and encouragement would not be enough. It might be akin to inflating balloons with helium, and that some kids might explode when their esteem was injured. That is another aspect of our situation.

This only touches on a few aspects of our problem, but it is one that we must endeavor to do better at — to help the generation coming after us. Encourage all involved — parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, neighbors and all.

Fred Banks



With Trump, being stupid better than the alternative

Usually, I try to be unbiased, I really do. But I always see the flaws in Donald Trump.

For example, the recent attacks in California, Texas, and Ohio are absolutely a nonpartisan issue. Our country has a serious social problem that needs to be resolved.

People don’t need to avoid social gatherings (church, shopping, farmer’s markets, entertainment events) because they fear that some deranged person will open fire. This is not a Republican or Democratic problem. It belongs to all of us to solve. I hope I am not misinterpreted — I do not blame Donald Trump for the acts of sick people. I hope that no one thinks I do.

But it sickens my heart when Trump implies that if Democrats are willing, he can work out a deal combining the issues of immigration and gun violence. Does he not realize that in saying something so insensitive he has made the issue of saving lives a partisan, political issue? Is he really that blind? That heartless? That uncaring about all those who have suffered — and others who will suffer until he or someone figures out that we need to unite, not divide, in order to solve this problem?

Does he not understand that he has just said, essentially, “Scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” over the issue of innocent people dying throughout America?

I hope — and pray fervently — that the man is simply stupid and not the uncaring, conniving beast he appears to be.

D’Wayne Hodgin



President has proven that anyone can win

Everyone is wondering why so many people are running for the Democratic Presidential nomination. The explanation is simple. The 2016 election proved, by example, that any idiot could win the presidency. From sea to shining sea idiots saw what happened and thought, “why not me?”

As a candidate Donald Trump was the embodiment of Dorothy’s three companions on the yellow brick road: No brain, no heart and no courage. And yet with bombastic lies and assistance from Russia he became president, proving that the only real qualifications are powerful friends and the capacity to lie outrageously.

So now we have 24 candidates for the Democratic nomination. A few have no brains, some have no heart and others have no courage, but every one of them is far more qualified than the existing presidential poser.

Why are inept people running for president? Because President Trump proved any idiot could win.

Paul Oman



‘Luck favors the prepared mind’

Does good luck follow you around, like finding the parking space at just the right time and place? Or maybe bad luck is frequently yours. Perhaps Murphy’s Law claims you as victim to “The worst thing that can happen, does.” Well, I know you can influence your luck of either kind, simply by right living or not.

You can nourish the kind of “luck” you wish to be in your life by some simple common sense behavioral ways of treating yourself and others. If you wish good luck, take an optimistic view of life, saying “yes” to things more often than refusing opportunities that come to you.

Learn how to be decisive in your choices, by refraining from saying things like, “I’ll have to think about it,” or, “I’ll have to wait and see what happens.” Instead, Take a moment to relax, breathe, and perhaps place your hand on your heart — anything that helps you focus within. You can take a stand in that moment by feeling what is right for you, then say so. If you really are dependent on something else that has to happen first, say so. “As soon as Mary calls me” or “When I see how much the check is.” This way you complete the choice mentally rather than leaving it floating in space as unfinished business.

Living sober avoids most violence. Live in the company of those with whom you vibe, for everyone sends out vibrations and receives back in kind, as an echo of their consciousness.

In conclusion, if you are prepared mentally to jump into an opportunity that you never expected, take it. Mitch Horowitz in the July Science of Mind puts it this way: “Luck favors a prepared mind.” I say, Being present reflects back to you all good things. Good luck!

Eleanor Richard




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