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Calvin Mackie
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Calvin Mackie

It pains me to see the news on TV about the recent murder-suicide in Kansas this weekend. For those who don't yet know about this—Jovan Belcher, NFL linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs—shot and killed his girlfriend last Saturday before driving to the Chiefs' practice facility parking lot to shoot himself in front of his coach and general manager. As if this dark weekend couldn't get any worse, the NFL decided to play the game in Kansas between the Chiefs and the Carolina Panthers the next day rather than having a moratorium out of respect for the deceased and those close to them. Watching this unfold reminds me of the distorted priorities of our time. While there is something to be said for charging through tragic and confusing times, sometimes a reflective pause can bring much-needed clarity and meaning.
 
Belcher was the 4th current or former NFL player to commit suicide this year. You would think this would give the NFL a reason to step back, pause, and reflect. While the NFL will not make time for such reflection—their priority is revenue, not respect for their players or reverence for life-WE can learn from this disgrace. I ask that we take a minute to reflect on the Belcher tragedy. We are called human beings for a reason. While the Chiefs' franchise and the NFL were too busy doing to take a day to mourn for the lives tragically lost, often, we can and should put aside a substantial piece of time to quietly exist—to pray, meditate, or ponder. To simply be! By paying respect to our collective human being, we can begin to work toward preventing tragedies in the future. So much of the time, a moment of reflection can make all the difference. Which bring me to my Message of the Month—Human Beings Before Human Doings.
 
Recently while speaking at a major corporation, I spent many of hours networking with the professionals. Everyone was eager to share with me what they do for a living. As I prepared for my presentation, I decided to entitle the presentation, "What Are You Living To Do?" Many of us are so focused on doing that we forget about the deeper issues and concerns that drive us. We are human beings first and before we can successfully engage in human doings, we must grow as human beings.
 
Murder and violence is running rampant in our society as any evening news channel will tell you. Violence plagues the houses and bedrooms across our country at a terrifying rate. 1.3 million women are victims of assault by an intimate partner each year. Data published recently shows that nearly 3 out of every 100,00 women in Louisiana were killed in domestic-violence incidents in 2007. The rush to move forward after the Kansas City incident indicates a lessening respect for human life. I'm reminded of the words of the journalist Norman Cousins: "The tragedy of life is not death but what dies inside us while we live."
 
I hope as this year ends, we all take time to reflect on this beautiful experience called Life and spend some time BEING, making sure we have not died while living!
 

 
Calvin Mackie

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