Archive for Thursday, April 25, 2002

Letters

April 25, 2002

More good sports needed

Perseverance, determination, intra-squad support, great attitudes, teamwork and a unity in the sense of purpose are words which would best describe the Eudora High School varsity baseball team's unfortunate losses to Spring Hill (April 18). Each and every member of the team should be commended for his effort and dedication.

There were "stellar" plays made both offensively and defensively and they should be proud of their overall performance as a team. This team appears to be extremely supportive of each other and never places blame. When an error does occur (as it undoubtedly will), the individual feels worse and blames themselves more than anyone can imagine. It's times like this when the team support really comes through, as everyone can make a mistake and no one is perfect.

Perfection is an unrealistic expectation of any kid, or adult for that matter. We, as adults, need to keep in mind that no one is perfect and that everyone can have an "off" day. We, adults and parents, need to extend to all kids the support and understanding they deserve.

From observation, it was apparent our kids are more compassionate, understanding and forgiving than what we, as parents, demonstrated. We've taught them well. Now it's our turn to set a good example by practicing these same qualities of kindness, support and forgiveness.

We should be a united force of support for the kids (all kids) playing sports. There is no excuse for displaying bad manners, poor sportsmanship, or uttering unkind remarks. Rather, we should be counting our blessings that our children are happy, well-adjusted, committed and physically able to participate. Our kids face numerous challenges daily and we should be proud of how they deal with success as well as failure.

Supporting their teammates is not a challenge for them, but an opportunity to offer encouragement and show kindness. In this particular instance, we (the parents and adults) could learn from modeling our children's behavior. I suggest we give it a try and see if we, too, can't be more tolerant, understanding and as forgiving as our children are.

Participation and competing is supposed to be for and about the kids, not the parents and adults. We are their support networks, not the other way around. Let's remember these kids and their years as youth are few compared to the years spent as an adult.

Part of our responsibility is to give them the opportunity to enjoy those years and to have good memories of their high school years. We encourage our children to always do their best, learn from their mistakes and take pride in what they do. We, as adults, need to take our own advice and make our kids proud of us as well.

The players and coaches should be commended for continually displaying good sportsmanship, team support and intense enthusiasm throughout both games. I am extremely proud that these kids are a part of our lives and part of our school and community.

Brenda Clark

Eudora

Forgiveness not the answer

Your editorial comments regarding Father Charles Polifka's sermon on April 14 at St. John-Evangelist Church in Lawrence about fellow Roman Catholic priests who have victimized children's rights disturbed me when I read the statement about how everyone should have compassion toward our brothers and sisters, (a.k.a. the perpetrators), who did the hurting.

For years, stories have circulated about sexually abusive priests who were counseled and released to serve in parishes, only to have repeated their violence. The fact is, these sexual perpetrators are criminals who have violated innocent children and teenagers. The victims didn't ask for the inappropriate behavior forced upon them. Another fact, pedophiles are not curable; the only cure is a lobotomy or death. A third fact, these children were not the first victims; background checks would have revealed a past history of such violence.

As a member of the Roman Catholic faith, I hope and pray the Church faces its responsibility to childhood victims of sexual abuse in an appropriate manner. It's not a matter of forgiveness; it never should've happened. The actions were wrong; that's why everyone has tried to hide it. Aside from professional counseling, handing the pain over to God to deal with, is sometimes the only way childhood victims can, finally, get on with their everyday lives.

I have a firm belief that God handles perpetrators in his own way; in his own time. It's difficult for many people to comprehend this point-of-view; however, not for many of the parents and children who have been forced to live through it. And a note to Fr. Polifka who seems to have twisted the God-like attitude: I don't consider possessed perverts, who have destroyed so many lives, to be my brothers and sisters. I have no sympathy or empathy for anyone who exhibits such cruel, violent behavior.

Martha Schleuder

Eudora

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