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CARLTON: Worthy perspective

April 5, 2012

This being the week before Easter, there will be lots of stories in the news about various events all over the place. Passover is also coming, and will bring its accompanying events. This is a special week, indeed.
Hopefully there will be peace in both the United States and Israel for all these events.
There are many people hard at work trying to stir up trouble over all manner of issues. These folks have made a career out of preventing peace. Beware of people whose faces are constantly before you in the media, spewing forth discord and hate.
Radical Islamists are not the only troublemakers in the world.
Did you ever wonder what would happen to the careers of people like Bill Maher, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson, if suddenly there was actually peace? What would they do? They would be devastated.
What causes this kind of agitation on such a wide scale? Sure, it pays well, in money and media exposure. But, good grief, how do people sleep at night after they cause so much unrest, misery and violence, day after day?
The Trayvon Martin story from Florida has been used as fresh fuel for the fires of racial hatred.
An article on http://www.dividedstates.com shows the picture of a Seattle teen beaten by a Muslim in what has been classified as a Hate Crime. The story also on this page is of a case in Palmdale, California where seven Blacks have been arrested after attacking and severely injuring a 15-year-old White-Hispanic boy who was simply walking home from school. The seven attackers had been encouraged to commit a hate crime by cries from New Black Panther leader Mikhail Muhammad, Spike Lee, Barack Obama, and Rev. Al Sharpton, many people feel, according to the story. During the attack, the black teens made racially derogatory statements toward the boy which were captured on video.
Our own President injected racial tension into this already stressful time by stating that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon. How is that relevant? Yes, he sympathizes with the victim’s parents, but isn’t a President supposed to be on the lookout for the welfare of people on the other side of the story, too, like the innocent elderly couple who have been displaced from their home after Spike Lee “tweeted” an erroneous address for the alleged shooter, which turned out to be the wrong home? Back off, Obama. Let the Special Prosecutor do her job.
You know, one of the oldest mechanisms for creating trouble in the world is to keep the concept of an “enemy” front and center in people’s minds.
Instead of just going about our lives in peace, doing good, taking care of our families and our business, we are constantly presented with “enemies” to think about. Someone to worry about. Someone to get back at.
What if we just dismissed the notion of so many “enemies?”
I get wonderful “Worthy Briefs” sent from a site called www.worthynetwork.com
and great news coverage from www.worthynews.com, from a very reliable source who happens to be a great friend of mine and my husband’s.
Let me share a story that came to my inbox a couple of days ago, and illustrates a powerful message:
Two shopkeepers were bitter rivals. Their stores were directly across the street from each other and they would spend each day keeping track of each other’s business. If one of them got a customer, he would smile in triumph at his rival.
One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, “I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much. Do you want to be rich? You can, but he will be twice as much. Do you wish to live a long and healthy life? You can, but his life will be longer and healthier. What is your desire?
The man thought for a moment, and then said, “Please...blind me in one eye.”
Wow. How strongly does this story demonstrate the complete misplacement of priorities in people’s lives?
As we near the celebration this weekend of some of our dearest and most important holidays, let us try to have our priorities straight.
Let us expend more effort working for peace, and less trying (foolishly!) to build ourselves up by tearing someone else down.
Passover starts on Friday, April 6, this year, and Easter is Sunday, April 8. Happy Passover and Happy Easter. May peace be a big part of your celebrations.

Nancy Carlton is a Saline County resident. Her column appears each Wednesday in The Saline Courier.

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