Anger and Unanswered Questions in Arizona
I still can’t wrap my mind around the senseless shooting in Arizona that left 13 wounded and six dead. I’m glad to hear that doctors are optimistic about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords recovery. This is a woman who has dedicated her life to public service, and she and her family remain in my prayers. My heart goes out to all the families affected by this tragedy.
Whenever we hear stories of a guy who starts firing into a crowd, we shake our heads in horror and ask, “Could this have been predicted?” As a mental health professional, that’s a question that I always think about. But the truth is we don’t have the psychological test to predict the next Columbine or Virginia Tech shooting.
A lot of people are hurt, angry and want answers. I get that. Here’s what we know about the alleged shooter, Jared Loughner: He railed on about the government. He listed Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto as among his favorite books. We know he had been arrested for drug paraphernalia, although that was ultimately dismissed. On December 30, he posted on his Facebook page: “My shot is now ready for aim,” and “I define terrorist.” (more…)
Pastor’s Second Act, and Blessed Life, Ends Too Soon
The following tribute is by best-selling author Mitch Albom in honor of our dear friend Rev. Henry Covington, who recently passed away. While you may not know him by name, Henry’s dedication to the good people of Detroit was evident in his work with I Am My Brother’s Keeper Ministry — he was their everything. While it is personal loss, the ripple effect of his absence will be felt by many. He is in our prayers, and I hope, in yours as well.
Farewell, friend. You were too young to die. I saw you just the day before. Now I won’t see you again. Not on this earth, anyhow.
Farewell, friend. We hugged at breakfast. I said “Hennnrrry,” as I usually do, and buried my head into your huge upper chest. You were dressed up. It was a big day. The sun was out in the winter sky.
Farewell, friend. If I had known it was our last meeting, the things I would have changed. We spoke as if we had forever. We talked about Christmas coming up, the programs at your church, the hungry to be fed at your shelter. We got into a car that was waiting for us, like big shots, and it drove us to a TV studio in Rockefeller Center. (more…)
The Great Holiday Pause
My dad used to say holidays are that time of the year when you get thrown together with people whom you don’t really know that well or have much in common with any more. You spend way too much time with them — sometimes long, almost endless days, jammed into a space that’s way too small — and make each other miserable! Ya-hoo! Santa Claus, right? Ha! My dad really wasn’t a humbug; he was just joking about how we sometimes “over expect” when it comes to the holidays and forget the reality of it all.
Hopefully, you’re excited about your upcoming holiday gathering. I know I am. We don’t focus much on the gifts, but we sure enjoy the time together. If you are like a lot of families, there is always one (or more) family member or family friend you would rather not see. Deep down, you’re already dreading this jerk showing up. Don’t we all have the “Uncle Harry” or “Aunt Busybody” who would rather start trouble than anything else? You might be worried that some conflict from the past will come up, or that a long-time disagreement will raise its ugly head. (more…)
Thanksgiving: It’s All in the Family
Turkey Day! Ahhh. A much needed break that I am looking forward to, especially since I feel like my little family, now expanded by a new granddaughter, has so much to be thankful for. But I recently read an iVillage poll which found that 65 percent of all respondents are expecting some sort of family disagreement to break out before dessert is served on Thanksgiving Day.
And the disagreements aren’t usually about whether to serve pecan or pumpkin pie. For a lot of you, Thanksgiving has become that oh-so-unhappy day during which everyone gathers to carve up a lot more than the turkey. A sister might just happen to mention to another sister that it looks as if she’s gaining weight, and a mother-in-law might say something just slightly sarcastic about her son-in-law’s choice of careers. And then there is always Uncle Harry who drinks more than he eats, and starts flapping his big fat mouth, and tells embarrassing stories about his brother’s first marriage, or at some point, an overly-sensitive niece will break into tears because someone will ask her point-blank if she is EVER going to “catch” a husband! (more…)
Larry King: The End of an Era
I first appeared on Larry King’s show on CNN over a decade ago, back when I was still appearing regularly on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He graciously would bring me on to talk about a book I had written, or have me help analyze some breaking news event or a tragic or controversial event that had taken place somewhere in the world. I was a pretty frequent guest, and last week, I had the honor — and I mean it was truly an honor — to appear on his final CNN show.
It was a star-studded lineup featuring everyone from President Barack Obama, to former President Bill Clinton to Regis Philbin. Bill Maher and Ryan Seacrest were there, as were Donald Trump, Suze Orman, Barbara Walters, and of course, CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Tony Bennett sang a tribute to Larry. The three major network anchors — Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams — made a rare joint appearance to bid their farewells. And, by the way, if you want to get a look at the next great King, be sure to watch the end of the show where he introduces his kids, Chance and Cannon. I especially want you to watch Cannon, all of 10 years old, do an impersonation of his father. As I said on the show, “I’ll tell you what, we have met the talent here in the family.” (more…)