Friday, September 05, 2008

Wealthy and Famous,
But Tragedy Touched
Him Just Like Anyone

Adrian Peterson is apparently the next big thing in NFL football. The sculpted Minnesota Vikings running back is considered the prototype of his position--big and tough, but also with explosive speed. Like his counterpart in hoops, Lebron James, the former Oklahoma Sooner also sets himself apart from the crowd with a magnetic personality that belies his tender age (he's 23). Still, none of that caused me to focus on him much, and I hardly knew a thing about the guy until I came upon this profile in the current GQ Magazine. It includes a heart-breaking story about how, as a seven-year-old, he witnessed his beloved older brother being killed by a motorist while riding his bike. As I flip channels on Sundays, I'll be watching for him now, and silently rooting for him as well. So tell us, what stories have touched you recently, and why?


At 11:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your query was a timely one. This was a story whose heroes I consider to be friends, so it was natural for me to be deeply moved by the account:

This week a student discharged a weapon in a local high school. Armed with over 30 rounds of extra ammunition, the student was approached by caring educators who protected the children under their care and convinced the distraught 15 year old not to take his own life.

It was later revealed this student was obsessed with guns, killing, and suicide. The educators’ first thoughts did not seem to be for their own safety. As I considered this, I thought of their wives, whom I have met. They, probably more than anybody, would be overwhelmed as they considered the full import of the risk their husbands took; terror, pride, and relief must have intermingled in a jumble because that is how I felt but knew the force of my feelings were nothing compared to those of their families.

In a statement to the press, you could see the strain on the principals' faces, but the next day it was back to work as usual, with counselors on hand for the children. Were the students comforted by the knowledge their school is guided by educators who are genuinely concerned for them? I can't speak for them, but many parents and the whole community have been touched by their compassion, and know that concern for their students is demonstrated every day in a myriad of ways.

True to form, though, I’m also sure most of the time those acts are met with the same groans the teens give their parents as they are prodded along the tough road to become responsible adults. But maybe now, a few more of the insightful ones will see beyond the rules and realize how precious life really is and how fortunate they are for the opportunities they have been granted.

Basics of story may be found at:

I hope you can forgive such an amateur submission, but was uplifted by a couple of guys whose depth might be hidden behind office doors and a sense of decorum that everyone doesn’t get a chance to see through.


At 7:52 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks for sharing that. And please don't apologize for being an amateur. Around here, that's not a negative, but in fact is something to be celebrated. We've twice celebrated what we call the amateur spirit (links below), and a cherished reader, Art D, nicely reminded us that in the Zen tradition, that's known as "beginner's mind." So you're in good company--we're all amateurs, really.


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