Letter to the Editor for Aug. 27, 2010
I’m small, but my heart is big
To the editor:
I would like to share a disheartening experience I had involving discrimination while I was volunteering at the Senior Center.
On Aug. 23 I volunteered to serve lunch there. I was told that the age limit is 12. I’m 13. When I entered I was greeted by strange looks and glares. I was followed around and felt like they were waiting for me to make a mistake. Finally one lady said to me adult leader, Sarah, where I could hear, she is “too small,” “too little” and “the elderly” wouldn’t approve of her.
Sarah said: “Well, she came last time and there wasn’t a problem. Besides, she is 13.”
I called my mom in tears. She asked the lady if she was discriminating against me because of my size or age. The lady said yes, waving her hand at me and saying, “they are seniors and they wouldn’t like it.”
I am small for my age — in the lowest 10 percent for height and weight. I wonder if the lady at the Senior Center doesn’t approve that I also volunteer at The Salvation Army or serve with my youth church group. It has to be that I am a co-founder of a group that raises money each year to help less-privileged children at Christmas, or that my all-star team voted me as a captain. Perhaps it is because I will be serving this school year as the vice president of my class? I’m sure they don’t approve of me because I am a teenager, giving up one of my last days of summer to serve lunch to elderly people? I don’t say this to be boastful. In fact most of my friends don’t even know I’m involved in a lot of this.
I wrote this letter to let the lady, and people like her, know that size or age doesn’t define or limit a person’s abilities. I can only wonder if they realize that we are the future leaders and it is opportunities like serving at the Senior Center that gives us the chance to be better leaders and people. Will I stop serving my community? Never.
To the editor:
In the Friday, Aug. 20 paper you ran a column written by Hillel Italie, AP National Writer. It gave the facts trying to set the record straight concerning some of the recent urban legends about President Obama.
Another source I have read recently was very helpful in getting the facts straight on the proposed building in Manhattan was The Talk of the Town in the Aug. 16/23 New Yorker. The information they gave in their article described just what the proposed building in New York City near the World Trade Center site was to be: It will have a large prayer room (which presumably qualifies as a mosque), but the rest of the building will be devoted to classrooms, an auditorium, galleries, a restaurant, a memorial to the victims of Sept . 11, 2001, and a swimming pool and gym.
Its sponsors envision something like the 92nd Street Y with the facilities open to all.
This gives me some insight about the proposal which I had not heard anywhere else.
To the editor:
We are born with the ability to be taught to love each other, hate each other, or fear each other. Until we experience these lessons we have no prejudice for either.
Mr. Nicholas Lark is a gentleman who has experienced the extreme in hatred. Here is a man who was raised in foster homes and group homes yet has been taught the lesson of caring for others by working at an agency that assists victims of domestic violence, sexual and elder abuse.
Is this the person we want to leave our community instead of helping us build up our community? We can speak and act through public witness, or private sharing, but let Mr. Lark know we need his gifts of compassion and unity in Baker County.
Judy Durgan McKenzie