Posts tagged ‘commentary’

To Genifer Buckly: In Memoriam

Genifer Buckly
Genifer Buckly (Photo from her Facebook account)

 
Genifer, 24, was a volunteer who went to Pangantucan, Bukidnon, Philippines to teach and do community work under the auspices of the Jesuit Volunteers Program.

On Friday, Aug. 23, she died after being repeatedly stabbed by a man who broke into their quarters. The other teacher who was with her also suffered serious injuries but survived.

Genifer would be the first violent casualty of this 40-year volunteer program aimed to “teach in under-served areas, train grassroot community leaders, assist cooperatives, implement livelihood projects, minister to the disabled and abused, engage in youth formation, advocate environmental issues, uphold the dignity of Indigenous Peoples and fight for the right of the oppressed.”

I will remember her smiling with seeds in her hands. With her untimely passing, it will be up to others to plant them and continue the work she has left behind. From above, looking down below, she’ll be watching the seeds grow and bring forth fruit.

I offer condolence to the Buckly family and to those who have known her in this life. May she rest in peace.

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August 24, 2019 at 9:31 pm 8 comments

Is This the New Normal?

An 11-year-old girl tearfully pleads for dad’s release after massive ICE raid in Mississipi a few days ago. What’s next?

August 8, 2019 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

Memorial Day Concert 2019

Memorial Day Concert 2019

 
Every year I look forward to the annual Memorial Day Concert at PBS. It’s a multi-award television event that honors our men and women in uniform for their service and sacrifice as well as gives recognition to their families and loved ones at home. I hope you can join me in watching it tonight.

I find it especially moving to hear stories of those who had served and paid the ultimate price.

One such stories has stuck in my mind to this day.

Embed from Getty Images
 
In a previous Memorial Day Concert telecast, Danne Wiest read excerpts from a grieving mother’s letters to her son Eric who was felled by a sniper’s bullet in Iraq. The letters were from Gina Barnhurst who regularly visits his grave on Sundays.

Lance Corporal Eric Herzberg

“There is a peacefulness about this place,” she wrote. “It is quiet and beautiful and special. I am so proud that you are buried here at Arlington. I want the world to know that you are a hero. People need to know the real cost of war – the real cost of freedom – the real sacrifice our service men and women make. They need to know the sacrifice of the people left behind.”

After her presentation, the camera followed Diane Wiest as she went to the grieving mother’s seat in the audience to hug her. As Gina Barnhurst stood up and sobbed, I felt the real meaning of grief. At that moment, I understood the pain and cried with her.

I could only wish that former Pres. Bush and the people who initiated the invasion of Iraq were watching at that time. It was their decision that put her 20 year-old son in harm’s way. Was it worth the ultimate sacrifice? For one thing, she wouldn’t see her son get married and have kids.

“He was just a beautiful person,” she said. “He was fun, he was sensitive. and the thing I hate the most is that he’s not going to be a daddy. He was really great with kids.”

Fatherhood and what appeared to be a bright future died with him.

Today should be a day to honor our fallen heroes like Eric and those that they left behind. It should be a day to bow our heads and pay our respects in unity. It shouldn’t be a day to score political points. Doing so would desecrate the spirit of Memorial Day.

May 26, 2019 at 10:42 am Leave a comment

Go Red for Women Today

Go Red
Go Red (Photo: Photo Special to Bella)

 

The National Go Red Day occurs annually on the first Friday of February to bring awareness to heart disease that has become the number one killer of women. It’s only fitting and proper that we join the efforts to fight this deadly disease that kills half a million women every year.

By wearing red not only on the day designated, we will continue to honor those who inspite of having the disease continue to live productive lives. To all these exemplary women, I dedicate this poem by e.e. cummings.

 
i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)


 

February 1, 2019 at 1:00 am 2 comments

It’s Blue Monday

snoopy
Snoopy/Charles M. Schulz

 
Today is the third Monday in January. It’s referred to as Blue Monday, a term coined by Dr. Cliff Arnall for the most depressing day of the year. It was based on a mathematical formula that he came up with years ago while working as a tutor at Cardiff University.

The formula considers factors that can trigger the blues for you and me at this time of the year.

One of them is the weather. I look out the window and there’s nothing much to celebrate about. It’s freezing and gloomy outside which doesn’t bode well with the cold I’m dealing with right now.

Then there’s the realization that the holidays are over along with the festive cheer and the temporary high that they provide.

As things get back to normal, we come face to face with the same personal issues and challenges that we have before.

To make matters worse, we continue to live in a highly polarized society with no end in sight. Trump remains the president obsessing with the $5.7 funding for a southern border wall that many experts consider unnecessary. He has forced a partial government shutdown in order to get what he wants leaving 800,000 federal workers working without pay or furloughed from their jobs.

Since the Blue Monday theory has achieved some kind of notoriety, scientists have looked into it and came up with the conclusion that it’s “nonsensical” and “farcical.” Feeling the blues can happen on any day of the year.

Still, people will tend to swear by it including those who believe in astrology, numerology and the like.

For the record, Dr. Arnall leaves his theory to stand on its own. He did say in an interview with The Independent newspaper said that it was “never his intention to make the day sound negative”, but rather “to inspire people to take action and make bold life decisions”.

Dr. Cliff Arnall
Dr. Cliff Arnall

 
He’s now on a mission to prevent from further spreading the self-fulfilling negativity that Blue Monday has unleased.

January 21, 2019 at 1:00 am 2 comments

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