A few timely observations on individuals in the recent news:
First up, Liam Neeson. What was the actor thinking? In a recent interview, Neeson admitted to loitering outside a pub, armed with a huge stick, hoping for a confrontation so he could kill a black man in retaliation for an unknown, allegedly black assailant’s attack on a friend. The public’s response was predictable and understandable; Neeson was immediately branded a racist. His latest film, Cold Pursuit, premiered in New York on February 5th, but the red carpet interviews and photographs were cancelled due to negative backlash. How stupid can one man be? Why on earth would Liam Neeson voluntarily share his violent tendencies with the press? Didn’t he realize he would be harshly criticized for his murderous intentions? Neeson has responded to the negative response by claiming he is not a racist. If the perpetrator of the instigating assault had been a white man, would the actor have laid in wait, seeking revenge? Would the color white have fueled his anger as intensely as the color black? Only Liam Neeson knows the answer, but if an individual harbors any potentially violent ill will toward another, he or she would be wise to seek counsel, not give credence to racism by spilling his/her unattractive guts in the media.
Next up, President Trump. In his 2019 State of the Union address, President Donald Trump attempted to present the “agenda of the American people”. While he struck a presidential pose, Trump could not resist reverting to his combative modus operandi, warning against “ridiculous partisan investigations”. Falling back on his penchant for rhyme and catchy phrases, Trump said, “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.” If the State of the Union is the “agenda of the American people”, as it should be, there is no room for advancing one’s self-interests.
Lastly, actor Kristoff St. John. The recent death of 52 year old Kristoff St. John, the iconic daytime television actor, is an eye-opener for all. St. John, who lost his son to mental illness and suicide four years ago, continued to work on the CBS soap, The Young and the Restless, despite his private emotional struggles. The actor reportedly never recovered from the tragic loss of his son. His death on Sunday, February 3rd, allegedly from alcohol abuse, has shocked and saddened his peers and his followers. The lesson here is clear: we do not know what trials and sorrows our neighbors suffer. A person’s ability to put one foot in front of the other each day and seemingly function well does not mean they are not without burden. A smile can hide quite a lot. The takeaway here is obvious, if not easy: be kind. Always.