Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 10, 2014

Feb. 10, 2014: Letters to the editor

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Kindness can disarm the toughest bully

Rarely does a bully go after someone who can fight back!

A synonym for a bully is “coward.” It helps if the victim realizes this.

Victims of bullying are now being taught not to resist. It makes the bully look like a terrorist, picking on a little kid.

Everyone will take action against the bully. He becomes a thug in the eyes of everyone else, and he or she is an insecure person anyway, and that is not the effect he or she is seeking.

When I was in the fourth grade, a bully came after me. I was riding my bicycle home from school, and he and some of his buddies grabbed me to go toe-to-toe with this guy in a field beside the road.

I noticed a hole behind him. I stepped behind him, causing him to fall on his back. I jumped on top of him.

After securing his promise to leave me alone, I rode home in peace. One day following, we rode our bikes together.

I lost track of him, but I understood he became involved in criminal activities. For a short time, he had a good friend who was not a criminal. I repaid his violence with kindness.

I did not turn the other cheek, but once the conflict was eliminated, I treated him in a way no one else had treated him. I hope he remembers me.

The trick with the bully is to be tricky. Be nice when he does not expect it. Agree with him when he thinks you will argue. Then the show is over, and he looks like the coward he truly is.

And then give him a Christmas present genuinely and from the heart. Then healing can occur. I did it, and it worked great.

Col. Billy Smyser


World still celebrates one ‘little speech’

It had been a horrible battle, one of the worst ever on American soil. More than 160,000 soldiers took part, and there were 46,000 casualties, with 10,000 killed. It was a last desperate attempt on one side to do something — anything — to swing in its favor the cause for which it was contending.

Months later a cemetery to bury the dead was established where the battle was fought, and a dedicatory ceremony was planned. The principle speaker was Edward Everett, a former minister, congressman, U.S. senator, U.S. ambassador, governor of Massachusetts, and secretary of state under President Millard Fillmore. He spoke for two hours, 13,607 words, to an audience that included several state governors, one of whom was Oliver P. Morton from Indiana. Everett was an accomplished and celebrated speaker, in a day when people looked upon oratory as entertainment.

When he was finally finished speaking, Edward Everett sat down, and a photographer present to take some pictures of the proceedings used the opportunity to change the lens in his camera. It was a task that took a couple of minutes at best. As he prepared to take the picture of the second speaker for the occasion, that speaker sat back down, done with his two minute speech of 272 words.

“The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat, and dishwatery utterances ...,” said the Chicago Times of the second speaker, who himself thought he had failed with his little speech.

But today it is looked at differently. The year was 1863, the place was the Gettysburg National Soldiers Cemetery in Pennsylvania, and the second speaker was the president of the United States.

His name was Lincoln.

Jeff Hatton