News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 26, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 26, 2012

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Charity critical in uncertain times

As the Congress continues “fiscal cliff” negotiations, one of the deductions under review is the charitable deduction. The charitable deduction allows individuals to deduct a portion of their charitable contributions on their individual taxes if they itemize.

In this time of pending government budget cuts, it is critical that the charitable sector remain strong. While I agree that the fiscal situation is dire, Congress should not try to solve the dilemma by further shifting the burden to those at the bottom of the economic scale.

For our Terre Haute community, charitable contributions help fuel organizations such as the Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Salvation Amy and Family Service Association, just to name a few. Nonprofits not only play a critical role in providing human services, but also serve as one of our community’s primary employers. One in nine workers in Vigo County is employed by nonprofit organizations (compared with one in 11 for Indiana).

I understand that Congress must make difficult choices about investments and cuts. I hope they will take careful consideration of the role that nonprofits play in a community, especially our community — as service providers and employers. And I encourage all residents to continue to contribute and volunteer with their favorite charities.

— Troy Fears

Executive director

United Way of

the Wabash Valley

Thoughts on forgiveness

In the past few years I have seen many definition and statements regarding forgiveness that do not match mine so I decided to share with your readers my thoughts on the subject.

A. Forgiveness is a way of healing oneself from pain, trauma and tragedy. It is a means of self-liberation and self-empowerment.

B. Forgiving is not forgetting. It is in many cases impossible to forget events that deeply affect us. They shape our lives for better or worse. In the case of the Holocaust, it is important to remember and educate so it cannot happen again.

C. Forgiving does not mean that we condone the evil deeds the Nazis and others perpetrated. The question of justice is separate from the issue of forgiveness.

D. This concept of forgiveness has little to do with the perpetrators. It has everything to do with the need of victims to be free from the pain inflicted upon them.

E. This concept of forgiveness has nothing to do with any religion. All people yearn to live free of the pain and burden of the past. If it is confined to one, any religion, or no religion, then some people will not be able to access it.

F. Each person can forgive only in his or her own name. One cannot forgive in the name of all Holocaust survivors. Forgiveness is a personal act of self-healing, self-liberation and self-empowerment.

G. Forgiveness cannot happen until we feel physically safe, it cannot occur on the battlefield because survival and maintaining life takes always priority. Only when we are safe can we think about forgiveness.

H. Forgiveness is more than “letting go.” It is proactive rather than passive. We become victims involuntarily. Something was done to us that put us in a position of feeling powerless. Thus the conscious choice to forgive provides healing, liberation and reclamation of this power.

Forgiveness is a life skill, forgiveness is a human right, because forgiveness is freedom.

“Anger is a seed for war. Forgiveness is a seed for peace.”

— Eva Kor

Survivor of

Auschwitz No. A-7063

Terre Haute

Great statement

Located 1.5 miles this side of the Eel River bridge, on Indiana 42, on the south side of the road, is an easily seen antique manure spreader.

I first spotted it after the election. If this was intended to be a political statement, I love it. If it is just for show, I still love it.

— Mark Burns

Terre Haute