As the best writer you’ve never heard of, at least when it comes to my novels (my own fault, I love the writing, hate the marketing), I am a keen reader of what other authors write which often inspires my own writing. I have heard that some authors never read anyone else’s writing, too afraid it may somehow influence their own writing, implying for the worse but having found my own “voice” (one of those “writer’s expressions”), I have no fear of that and admire without guilt or envy other writers who capture the perfect turn of phrase, just the right word or combination of words. So, I offer the following passage from one of my favorite writers, Dean Koontz from his novel Innocence in which his protagonist defines love. It is one of the best definitions I’ve ever read. And yes, I wish I had written it. “Love is absorbing, related to affection but stronger, full of appreciation for–and delight in–the other person, marked by a desire always to please and benefit her or him, always to smooth the loved one’s way through the roughness of the days and to do everything possible to make her or him profoundly valued.” Amen.
There are suspensions by organizations for bad behavior by their employees but not all suspensions are equal. Recently, a sideline reporter for a sport’s network was suspended when caught making nasty comments to a tow truck employee. This woman’s biggest mistake was lording it over the employee by citing her status as a supposed celebrity and even going so far as to criticize the employee’s personal appearance. Even though she apologized and may have been egged on by equally reprehensible language directed at her by the tow truck person, she was rightly suspended. But calls for her to be fired seem over the top. Contrast that with the grade school teacher that made her class write birthday cards to a convicted cop killer on death row. After her suspension she then attempted, when arguing she should be reinstated, to throw her students under the bus by arguing they wanted to send the cards. Yeah, right. It was the kiddies idea to send cards to a guy convicted of shooting a cop in the back and then making sure he was dead by putting one in his head. In fact, this “teacher” should have been fired, not just suspended. If people cannot see the difference between a rant by some sport’s reporter who was having a bad hair day and a supposed guardian of our impressionable children who uses her position to advocate for convicted killers, all of us are in big trouble.