Posted by Misha Henckel
1. The Occupy Movement – it’s about time we got the courage to stand up to the vicious, greedy and destructive elements of our society.
2. Facebook, You Tube, Twitter and digital technology – we get to express ourselves, freely. How awesome is that!
3. Reality TV – the Real Housewives, the Kardashians et al. It’s important to get a good look at what you never want to be.
4. President Obama – the dude has had to deal with the impossible. I dare anyone else to take the job and do it better.
5. You’re an American – when last I checked, for all our problems, this was still the most amazing country in the world. Here you’re free to become everything you want to be.
Be grateful that you get to be you. Breathe, smile and reach out to someone.
2.13.12 at 12:37 pm | She made our souls dance
1.31.12 at 12:28 am | With excellent and unpredictable choices...
1.22.12 at 5:27 pm | She's teaching us how to fight every single day
1.16.12 at 2:02 pm | No real surprises
11.24.11 at 2:13 pm | This is still the most amazing country in the. . .
11.10.11 at 11:46 am | Sometimes it's not what you do, but what you fail. . .
3.27.11 at 11:45 pm | She was a great role model for us all (12)
11.1.11 at 2:43 pm | They're the epitome of success, in a society. . . (8)
7.23.11 at 8:33 pm | " I love you mum." (5)
November 10, 2011 | 11:46 am
Posted by Misha Henckel
I know nothing about football and even less about college football, but like so many Americans, I was riveted to the TV screen, last night, as the shocking story unfolded out of Penn State. Who were these men? How could they condone the evil of Jerry Sandusky? How could they place the interests of a football program or a university, for that matter, over their obligation to protect tiny, defenseless, scared little boys who were being raped? What kind of institutional culture turns a blind eye to the darkest of crimes?
Last night, when the Penn State Board of Trustees fired Joe Paterno, they did it in the “best interests of the university.” Sounds to me like that’s just the same old attitude. They needed and still need to act “in the best interests of the victims.” The value of an institution, no matter how big or how influential is still not as significant as the value of one tiny child. By not acting to stop him, the university is as culpable as Jerry Sandusky for perpetrating these crimes. And Penn State can only redeem itself when it appropriately addresses the needs of those who suffered in this unfathomable evildoing.
I’m sure Paterno, meanwhile, never would have guessed that his career as winningest football coach in NCAA history would end this way. But that’s life. It will build you up and then take you down. And sometimes it’s not what you do, but what you fail to do that most defines you. Paterno’s greatness will most definitely be defined by how he acts, now. Will he speak up for the victims? Will he stand up for them and do whatever is necessary to help them? Will he now become an advocate for victims of child sexual abuse? Will he do his part in ensuring that this never, ever happens again at Penn State or any other institution? It’s up to him. For all of his winnings, this is his real opportunity to do something truly significant and meaningful.
November 1, 2011 | 2:43 pm
Posted by Misha Henckel
As I was watching Ruth Madoff on 60 Minutes, this Sunday, I found myself scrutinizing her visage. What I kept seeing was a woman who had lived a lavish life off the spoils of her husband’s crimes. For all the trauma she’d been through in the past few years, she still looked too well put together to possibly be contrite for whatever part she had in Bernie Madoff’s evil schemes. And, frankly, she seemed complacent. I struggled to muster a shred of compassion. Only when she spoke of her son, Mark’s suicide, did I believe that she had truly suffered, and that somewhere, behind that face, was a soul.
I was troubled by how cold my heart was to Mrs. Madoff - whatever her transgressions. I have always believed in teshuvah*, and the idea that anyone, no matter how terrible their past actions, could become a better person. So why had I eliminated that possibility for Mrs. Madoff?
The following morning, news broke that, only 72 days after her nationally televised “fairytale” wedding, Kim Kardashian had filed for divorce.
I snickered, “Duh!”
While I was silently congratulating myself on having always known that that marriage was an entirely ridiculous idea, if not just another reality TV charade, another part of me was observing just how willing I was to be brutally judgemental. Truth is… I know nothing of Kim Kardashian’s situation or what she’s going through. I don’t think it’s smart to get married to someone after only a few months of knowing them, or to play out one’s relationship in front of the media. But beyond that, what could I say?
So what was I to conclude about these two women?
Mrs. Madoff, for many years, was a highly regarded member of New York society. She was someone who had done everything right. She and her husband had “made it.” They were examples of the American Way – work hard, build yourself up, become a success. Kim Kardashian, too, is a great American success story. Four years ago, she was selling clothes in a boutique in the Valley. Today, she is one of the wealthiest, most recognized women in the world. They both epitomize success, in a society that is driven by the notion of transcending “lowly” beginnings and finding riches and public acclaim. Simply put, Ruth Madoff and Kim Kardashian are victims of greed. But so are we. We’re all trying to “make it” in one way or the other. And who knows how we would act if we had that kind of money, fame or acclaim.
* teshuvah - (literally “return”) the way of atoning for sin and making new beginnings