The Transylvania Times -

We All Can Do Better


Last updated 2/17/2020 at 2:26pm

As I read the editorial page of the Monday Feb. 10 issue, I was struck by the walls we have erected in our minds that blind us to the avenues of collaboration and problem solving. On one side of the page stands a call to “Pay Attention to Mental Health” while the remainder of the page is devoted to letters from readers. The editorial underlines a seriously neglected health problem needing action: the long ignored mental illness epidemic in the U.S.A. I applaud that concern and embrace the editor’s call for action.

Several of the “Letters to the Editor” are political in content and intensely negative of either our president or our speaker of the house. The letter authors’ concerns are about respect from these two high-ranking officials for each other. I sincerely believe that we are watching a sad tit-for-tat game on both sides which is degrading our moral character and our national image. Our planet, as well as our nation, is confronted with existential issues such as climate change, nuclear weapons proliferation and a worldwide refugee surge while our government —- all three branches? — is mired in personal, degrading spats.

Is it time for us citizens to insist that our three branches of government focus on their respective roles outlined in the Constitution as amended? The mental health editorial casts no aspersions and blames no particular person or office. Perhaps that model is the road out of our ego-bound party connections.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit that I, a proud registered Democrat, have slipped into nasty comments about our political leaders; the starkness of that page of letters shamed me into turning to my fundamental belief that every human being has a spark of the divine, what President Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.” That includes our president, the speaker of the house, the majority leader of the Senate and all of us letter writers. We are all connected and can do better!

Tom Mahan



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