Is the city allowing a risk needlessly?
Donald A. Potts, M.D., Independence
To the editor:
At the top of The Examiner's front page on June 2 there was an article about the city of Independence allowing outdoor dining and drinking. As a member of the City's Advisory Board of Health, we were never consulted or even notified about this council action.
The article didn't mention whether smoking would be allowed there or not. If smoking is allowed outside the front of an eating and/or drinking place, it means the council is willing to trade the concern of exposure to the coronavirus at the expense of increasing the public's exposure to perhaps a more deadly concern – second-hand smoke.
Several months ago, the board proposed several changes to our clean air ordinance that would have restricted such outdoor smoking, but the council refused to even discuss it or vote on it. Citizens shouldn't have to decide which of the two evils they want to evade.
An answer to strife: love and listening
Laurie Dean Wiley, Independence
To the editor:
It’s a difficult time in America. COVID-19 concern for older adults vs. concern for civil liberties, supporting Black Lives Matter vs. supporting police, seeing violence vs. civil protests, the market returning vs. businesses closed permanently, statements for opposing leaders vs. opposing opinions all over Facebook, and yes, even love vs. hate.
I write this open letter as a citizen of Independence. Our city shares its name with the Declaration of Independence that in 1776 was formed out of a need to dissolve tyranny, religious persecution and other negative events, but based on “truths (that are) self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness …”
Unfortunately, it appears that equality and happiness seem in short supply these days.
Over the course of the past few months, I have felt my spirit bubble up with sadness. Isolation and the events of our country have not helped. As a white woman, I don’t know the racism of Black Americans. As a Christian, I know that I am called to love.
Events in our country have prompted me to try to change the world around me. I’m not sure I even know how to do that, and you may not know either, but one thing is for sure: I will never hate someone into believing as I do, thinking as I do, or reacting as I do. No Facebook debate will lead us to a positive end. Words spoken in anger will not convince. Hate will not win anyone or anything.
This is just my opinion, but it’s based on the Good Book. I believe love is the answer. I don’t mean platitudes, or telling someone you love them, without action. I mean the example of love that comes from a changed mind and heart – from opening yourself up to listening and learning about others. Love that comes from loving God with all your heart, soul and strength, and loving others as yourself. I recently saw a man preach that we should “make America Godly again.” Yes, that statement in itself can be derisive, but let’s not let it be. Call upon your Creator and then love your neighbors (all others) as you do yourself. Some reading this will say, “but you’re making it way too simplistic.” Maybe so. I know that I haven’t walked in your shoes, but I want to understand. I may not understand, but I want to try. I may try, and I’m sure I’ll fail on many occasions, but on some occasions, I’ll get it right, or at least better and that is where I can begin to love the you, next to me.
“Love people who hate you. Pray for people who have wronged you. It won’t just change their life. … It’ll change yours.” (Author, Mandy Hale).