Wendy Stewart is a native of Baltimore and an adult convert to the Catholic Church. As a life coach and personal trainer, she works with families, children, and singles to bring together all aspects of their lives to be happy and healthy in body, mind and spirit. You can contact her for individual or group coaching at nutritioncoachwendy@yahoo.com.

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That's a weak argument. If anyone want to limit access to his private life, then make a limited use of internet resources for personal issues. I'd like to point out that the IPhone is made in China and it is unlikely that the Chinese government has access to this, and any other, communication device manufactured in China. By making the IPhone in factories under the Chinese regime and denying the FBI access to the device, Apple empowers a government that endangers our future and hampers a government, with elected officials, willing to protect us.

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Wendy, I am also of the Roman Catholic religion, all 67 years of my life. I cry for my neighbors also. I do not live in the city, but after all, we are all neighbors. I truly cry for those living in the neighborhoods like yours who live and work and abide by the law, who, as reported many times are afraid in their neighborhoods because of the drug dealers and gangs that rule those neighborhood streets making all around them afraid and unsafe in their own neighborhoods. I remember the Baltimore family that reported what was happening in their neighborhood and in the act of trying to protect their family and others, their house was set on fire and all members of their family perished. I believe in helping those who are truly needy, but I also believe there are the same opportunites for all in those areas of the city as all citizens of the city. There are those who choose to take advantage of those opportunities e.g. attending school and getting an education or finding an honest way to support themselves. I see many help wanted signs, so there are jobs available. I blame the city leadership from the top down for city schools' downfall. There are those e.g. previous mayor Sheila Dixon who choose to spend taxpayer money on what is good for them and their political agenda. Yes, I cry along with you. You make me proud for what I have just read about you and your service to our country. Why is your example not followed? I think that you have a family who teach their values and respect for all to their children. That is what I feel is necessary to help neighborhoods to rise above what we are experiencing now. My prayers go out to everyone affected and I pray that God has a plan for His good to come from this. Thank you for allowing me to air my feelings. Praying for you and the good work you do.

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Let it burn


Have you ever been so frustrated by crime or the inability of law enforcement to make a solid difference?

Many of us have when the police get some drug dealers off the street and it seems like two more pop up in their place. They return to the streets, defy the police and have no concern for the neighborhoods where they set up their crime headquarters.

What do you do? What can you do?

This was just one of a few storylines in the fourth season premiere of NBC’s “Chicago Fire.”

When a neighborhood tires of a boarded, vacant house being used as a drug den, a fire engulfs the house and they blocked the street to prevent the fire department from doing its job. They shouted, “Let it burn!” because they were frustrated and desperately wanted things to change. The delay in putting out the fire resulted in one death and nearly one more in the house next door.

And while the man who nearly died didn’t blame his neighbors, the firefighters did not understand how anyone could prevent firefighters from doing their job or have such blatant disregard for human life.

That’s the thing: blatant disregard for human life.

Depending on where you live as you read this post, you may not see the problems I’ve mentioned. The struggle is much more real than many believe. I don’t remember the number of vacant houses on my own block and the number of times I might have seen a drug deal go down. I don’t know how many times I have overheard conversations showing how little people respect each other. The worst is when I see addicts of one substance belittle someone struggling with an addiction to another substance.

People laugh and point fingers, but no one dares help. And if you do try to help many times you are chided by the older people who say it’s a waste of time and it’s obvious by their condition the person doesn’t want help.

People don’t even have their basic human dignity anymore. It is taken from them at every turn from higher than normal prices for groceries, housing and the needs of basic living. A vicious cycle which keeps people impoverished is what it really is.

I read a very short bio on St. John (Don) Bosco. The bio said he realized the difficulty in making good decisions when a person doesn’t receive proper education. So he set out to educate the poor in trade and spirit. I was hopeful after I read the bio because it spoke right to the question I had been pondering since shortly after the riots, “Do poor conditions lead to poor decisions?” St. Don Bosco certainly thought so and this mean there must be a radical shift in the way we reach the poor and impoverished each and every day.

This isn’t about being political as the problem transcends all boundaries. Rather it is about living the Gospel and treating people as Jesus would have.

“Whatever you do to the least of these,” right?



 
 

10/27/2015 2:02:05 PM
By Wendy Stewart