Roses and thorns 12/16/12

December 15, 2012 9:58:42 PM



A rose of condolence to the families of those killed in Friday's Newtown, Conn. rampage, which left 20 children and six adults dead -- and a nation heartbroken.  


Over the next few weeks, politicians and pundits will churn out endless rhetoric and ruminations. But the question foremost on people's minds is: "Why?" Though many words will be spewed and much ink will be spilled, there are no words for this.  


Violence cannot be justified. Vilification and vengeance, while they may bring temporary satisfaction, do little to effect lasting change or true healing. 


Darkness is conquered only by light. And each day we wake up, we have the choice to embrace that light or succumb to shadow. We have the choice to hold quiet vigil over our hearts and tongues, spreading kindness where there is none, offering hope when hope seems in scant supply.  


Man has an infinite capacity to inflict pain -- or ease it. The choice is forever and always our own. In this, the season of light, let us choose wisely.  




A rose to those who have decorated their houses and yards for Christmas. Their efforts create oases of light, hope and good cheer, appreciated now more than ever following the inexplicable slaughter we witnessed this weekend.  


What is the root of this horrible-beyond-words violence? In an era when our elected leaders, TV commentators and bloggers subject us to a steady diet of hate and animosity, one has to wonder. If we are honest with ourselves, we will question the role we play in perpetuating this insidious sickness.  


In this holiday season, a time we celebrate the birth of one who said, "Love one another," let us renew our efforts to do just that.  




A rose to James Allen, Elizabeth Swartz, Doug Browning and all who made "Messiah" a top-notch event.  


Judging by reviews from attendees, this year's performances were masterful, making for a magical evening. (Dispatch reporter Jeff Clark unabashedly called it "the best show ever.") 


Allen, associate professor of music at Mississippi University for Women, and Swartz, his daughter, began the holiday tradition 12 years ago, hoping to bring together a talented area choir and musicians.  


If you missed it this year, make plans to attend next year. The performance is free and is a testimony to the talent that resides within our community. 




A rose to Mike Bernsen as he leaves his post as the city's chief financial officer to take a position as a comptroller for Columbus Light and Water.  


Since 2008, Bernsen has handled the day-to-day finances of the city with honesty and integrity. But more than that, he has proven himself to be both knowledgeable and accessible -- a winning, and too often rare, combination.  


The city's loss is Columbus Light and Water's gain. Bernsen will be difficult to replace, and we encourage the city to cast a wide net, looking beyond political agendas to find the most qualified person to fill his shoes.