Mailbag: Adults need to explain sensitivity

While I applaud the good intentions of the children serving food at Salem Lutheran Church’s feast (“Journey to the feast,” Dec. 28), I am disturbed by the implications of a statement attributed to a sixth-grader: “They [the underprivileged guests at the feast] look up to us because we’re serving them and we’re wealthy, and we should give them some wealth, too.”

I understand that a child cannot be expected to grasp a socially complex situation with the sensitivity that perhaps an adult could. However, it is up to the adults in the child’s life to help that child understand those social complexities and to teach the child sensitivity and compassion appropriate for the child’s age and level of comprehension.

I hope the adults in this child’s life help him to see, sooner rather than later, that the recipients of the church’s generosity (and by extension the community’s generosity) do not, in fact, “look up” to this child because he is “wealthy.” If they look up to this child serving them food, it is more likely for his compassion and sense of social responsibility and not for his perceived “wealth.”



Pasadena must join smoke battle

On a recent trip with friends to Pasadena, I stood in line to see a film at the Paseo when suddenly another waiting patron, oblivious or possibly indifferent to the preferences of his neighbors, decided to light a cigarette.

The resulting effects upon the larger segment of the crowd, discomfited at the notion of inhaling poisoned vapor, were immediate, though expressed by most in silent looks of discontent. With gentle words and solid argument, I pleaded for the discontinuation of his habit at that time and place. His response was haughty spite, belligerence and threats.

When will Pasadena rise to join the vanguard of progress manifested by courageous acts of Burbank and Glendale, which, in their measures implemented in the past two years, have not only acknowledged the irrefutable detriment and danger of cigarette smoke, but secured a safer environment for its citizens and visitors?

What prevents a city government from approving ordinances that have shown to fly the colors of irrefutable benefit where ever they’re approved?

Is its purpose not predicated on the comfort, safety and security of its community? Do they not exist to act in the best interest of their citizens?

I understand the fear from negative business implications.

This concern has proven unnecessary in every city that has implemented smoking restrictions.

With this open letter, I extend my invitation to the Pasadena mayor and the members of the City Council to respond to this concern of great significance to every breathing human being in your city.



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