Saturday, June 20, 2020

Krista Kafer Can Do Better after all

Colorado writer, talk show host, and adjunct professor Krista Kafer is irritated.

Amidst the public outrage and protests over the murder of George Floyd, she wrote that the statement she finds "most irritating is that we can do better." Hey, who you calling "we"? Krista is wondering what she did. It's not her fault; she's doing great. Just ask her. It's "racists cops" and "rioters, murderers, and thieves," who can "do better." Well, sure. Nobody is arguing that. But Krista is speaking up for the silent majority, all those millions of people leading error and bias free lives, but who have been wrongly indicted for the ills of society. 

Indicted? Hmm. "Most irritating"? Hmmmmm.

I'm not sure what exactly happened to Krista that she feels indicted. But I will say this:  the belief and statement that "we can do better" can and should be seen as an offer of hope and a challenge of self improvement. The "we" of contemporary society can certainly do better in so many areas. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in his poem A Psalm of Life that "Neither joy and not sorrow is our destined end or way, but to act that each tomorrow find us further than today." Life is always about getting better. I often ask myself, as well as my students, "Are you a better person than you were yesterday? A better student? A better friend? A better parent? A better husband, wife, son, daughter, neighbor? A better employee? A better boss? A better eater? A better exerciser? A better driver? A better sports fan? A better citizen? A better follower of your faith?

We can all do better. Always. In so many areas. And, really, isn't that the point. Let's all get better everyday. Even Krista Kafer can do better. And, as I read my Denver Post this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to learn from Krista's most recent column that she may be rethinking her irritation. She may have discovered a way to join in the task to "do better." As a newspaper columnist and radio host, Krista has a wide audience and notable influence in framing mindsets, promoting ideas, engaging thoughtful debate. She can use her forum as she wishes, and it's enheartening to see her use this week's platform to talk about and promote "Breaking the Cycle of Prejudice." If we could do that, we would certainly be doing better. And sharing these thoughts is one way a part-time columnist is playing a role. 

And, her initial "irritation," which led to her tweet and, for me, some reflection and ultimately a blog post, has helped me focus on how I can play a role in the task we have before us everyday:  to do better.

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