Monday, July 23, 2012

I don't understand hatred

A horrible, vile, disgusting attack took place in Lincoln recently. I don't know all of the details but what I do know is that a woman was viciously assaulted in her own home by a group of men who apparently singled her out because of her sexual orientation.

At first, there was very little information presented in the local Lincoln media (that, itself seemed a little intentional and shady to me). But based on photos and accounts shared on Facebook, it is clear that this was a hate crime and this person was specifically targeted. Gay slurs were carved in her skin. Absolutely horrific! 

Because of Facebook, hundreds of people organized in Lincoln to stand in peaceful solidarity against what happened. The Lincoln Journal Star finally ran a more comprehensive article on what happened when they covered the vigil.

Hundreds attend vigil after reported hate crime

It is hard for me to comprehend why any person would violently attack another person. Period. What goes through the attacker's mind? Where does that hatred and violence originate? How does that level of extreme evil take over a person so that they totally disregard the humanity and dignity of the victim, abandoning all compassion?

Taken a step further, this event was and is a direct aggression on the GLBT community. Misunderstanding, mis-education, and close-mindedness brews hate. It simmers. It smolders. It sparks. It spreads.

I'm proud of those in Lincoln who are standing up against this aggression. I pray for more peace, openness, compassion, and understanding in our world and our communities. We all deserve better.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dogs Have Health Benefits for Humans

Michelle and I were watching ABC News one night while eating dinner (yes, we still watch the traditional nightly news like old-people) and this segment about the health benefits of having a dog sparked my interest. Of course, Charlie generally sits next to either one of us while we are eating and watching the news.

The notion that you can "trade everything in your medicine cabinet" for a dog (or pet) is intriguing. I realize that statement may be an over-exaggeration, but I do believe that having Charlie around is a mood-booster. The segment confirmed for me what I have always known about having a dog in the house. When I come home and I know Charlie is there it gives me just a little something to look forward to. That unconditional excitement shown to Michelle and I when we walk in the door can't be replaced by anything else. And I only realize the importance of that simple feeling when Charlie is absent (usually because we are getting ready to be on vacation so we have already taken him to someone's house to be watched).
Charlie makes me happy. And, according to research, he is helping to keep me alive and healthy.