Thinking well of city will help all in it
After watching the Baltimore celebration of the visit of Pope John Paul II, can you imagine the positive effect of continuing to generate that energy of love and goodwill within the city?
Can you imagine living in a place where people greet each other as friends? Can you imagine walking down the street without fear? Can you imagine a healthy, vital community in which people have jobs that support their needs?
Thoughts are the framework of form. Everything created by humanity began as a thought and can be changed by thoughts since thoughts lead to actions.
Imagine the changes that will occur if many people unite in creating a vision of community, responsibility, security, harmony, diversity and unity for their city.
To this end, I am dedicating a portion of each day to thinking creatively and livingly about my city. I am forming mental pictures of the city as I would like it to be. I am thinking only healthy thoughts, disciplining myself to focus on those things which would enhance lives and interaction.
I choose this activity as a service to the community and I will continue as long as I live here.
How will this help? Thoughts lead to action. Action creates change. Thinking regularly of a common good leads to actions for the highest good of all concerned.
It also helps each individual to realize that the point of power lies within. Deciding what I will do gives me a place to stand regardless of what another chooses.
Citizens creates communities. Communities create towns and cities. Towns and cities create nations. Nations create the world. The world is the reflection of you and me.
Who will this activity help? That depends entirely upon each of us.
Paranoia and hopelessness
As an African-American male, I have undoubtedly been affected by the problem of racism in America, but my humanity and intellectual ability force me to realize that there are limits to the scope and depths of racism in America. The lack of awareness of those limits is one of the biggest causes of the pathologies in the black community today. Racism has become all- encompassing. Paranoia and hopelessness have naturally set A good example of this is what happened during the O. J. Simpson trial. Many blacks readily accept the idea that whites can quickly plan the most intricate conspiracies against blacks, even though they may know each other only for a few minutes. This seems odd. Particularly since whites are not as quick to unite about anything else.
Too much attention is focused on whether conspiracies are possible, rather than whether they are likely. They can be executed with incredible speed and flawlessness. I find it also amazing that some people believe that some conspiracies can remain airtight for years, while other conspiracies leak out all the time.
It is time for us to realize that it may be impossible for us to guarantee one day that racism can be totally eradicated from our society. A more practical goal is to ensure that racism isn't debilitating and egregious.
Maryland's tobacco farms are struggling
The tobacco farmers of Southern Maryland are trying to hold on to a way of life our families have known for more than 360 years. We don't have the huge farms it takes for grain crops. Those who have tried to raise produce find it hard to break even when there are produce stands at every intersection at harvest time.
We have to tend our crops in noxious haze from two huge Potomac Electric Power Co. generating plants that are still allowed to pollute our air with coal smoke -- a known carcinogen!
A recent study by University of Maryland scientists said that the air quality in the Chesapeake region was some of the worst they ever tested, yet second-hand smoke is the only thing getting blamed for Maryland cancer deaths.
We have a governor who pushed through a regulations that tell our business people that they don't have enough sense to implement their own smoking or non-smoking policies. When this governor and all the other regulators in Annapolis finally break backs of the state's tobacco farmers, the farms will be sold to developers. Southern Maryland will turn into a land of concrete and asphalt.
4( What happens to the Chesapeake then?
Must a U.S. soldier wear U.N. uniform?
Michael New, a soldier in the U.S. Army, has refused to wear the United Nations uniform and may be court-martialed for this patriotic act.
Every person entering the military swears an oath to uphold the United States Constitution and defend our country from all enemies, foreign and domestic. A recruit does not swear an oath of allegiance to the U.N. or any other international or foreign body. Michael New has asked his superiors pertinent questions as to the legality of his situation but has received no answers -- only threats.
I have not seen or heard anything about this in the media. The principles of the U.N. and the U.S. are very different. The mission of the U.N. is to bring about a new world order which would do away with the independence of the U.S. The mission of the U.S. is to adhere to the U.S. Constitution and govern according to its precepts.
Michael New has received thousands of letters supporting his stand. This may well become a test case if he is court-martialed, but one expert believes that the military authorities, knowing that they do not have a leg to stand on, will simply transfer him to a unit which will not be under the control of the U.N.
Jumping the broom comes from Europe
The Oct. 10 article ("Swept Into Debate") on the wedding tradition of jumping over a broom was very intriguing, to say the least.
The article was correct on one point: The custom did not originate in Africa. It is actually a European custom from pre-Christian times.
According to "The New Golden Bough," by Sir James Frazer, the tradition originally entailed the newlyweds jumping over a bonfire, after the wedding vows were exchanged, to ensure a happy marriage. Broom was one of the woods used in the bonfire, because it was sacred to the Sun.
With the coming of Christianity, bonfire ceremonies were frowned upon at best, punished at worst, so the broom by itself was substituted. The broom was also used in pre-Christian fertility ceremonies, and therefore also had the symbolism of fertility and prosperity for the wedded couple.
I am proud to say my husband and I jumped over a festively decorated broom at our own wedding, and have it hanging
above the inside of our front door.
The Simpson trial wasn't real news
Your coverage of the Simpson trial should have appeared in the entertainment section. In the future, please save the front page for real news.
William A. Owens