Letter: Choose compassion over anger, violence

To the editor:

Every day I am more frustrated with the anger and hatefulness of the current political environment: each side finger-pointing and treating each other as bitter enemies. Today I realized I have been self-righteously doing the same thing, perpetuating the animosity.

The words of the Dali Lama struck home –- compassion is the antidote for anger, violence and frustration. That is what is lacking in our legislatures across the country and in our conversations with each other. Instead of looking with compassion at the needs of the people in our country we emphasize taking care of our pocketbooks.

I believe if we fixed the unfair tax and legal systems at all levels we would have the resources to do the compassionate things that need to be done without straining our pocketbooks. I give thanks for small glimmers that we know how to be compassionate as a society.

The new way Johnson County is viewing the plight of homelessness is uplifting. Too long have we listened to the non-compassionate voices of those who blame and punish the homeless for their situation. I pray that a majority of Americans will choose to be compassionate from this year forward and put anger and violence in the waste can where it belongs.

Donald A. Smith