Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Keeping it in perspective

The beauty and charm and magic of the holiday season is frequently just a myth. As a veteran newsman, I recall tragic stories year after year that tug on the heart-strings during this season. Fires, accidents, tragedies, unexpected deaths, serious illness. For many people around us, the holidays aren't magical...they're difficult.

I don't mean to minimize this, but ask that you keep it in perspective.

Those around us who experience serious illness or tragedy this time of the year are still surrounded by friends, family and loved ones who care and who show their compassion in many different ways. Those who are suffering pain due to injury or illness are able to get appropriate medication to relieve their misery. Those who need it can easily obtain the finest medical care. Those who are dying may receive hospice care and have the people closest to them at their side. We simply take all of this for granted, and it's a beautiful thing.

But in this Christmas season, I ask you to consider the plight of those in prison. They encounter some of the same experiences this time of the year: an accident or a vicious attack; serious, perhaps terminal illness; excruciating pain.

But here's the difference.

They often battle to get minimally appropriate medical care; their pain meds are often inadequate and sometimes non-existent; hospice care is not available for the dying, no matter what the MDOC claims; and prisoners endure all of these experiences alone...without the presence and comfort and hugs and compassion of family and friends and loved ones.

And that's why I ask you to remember them, especially this time of the year.

Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

If you know a prisoners, send him/her a simple, kind note.

I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.

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