16 February 2014

Heart to Heart

Victorian Valentine
by Leigh Lundin

Valentine’s Day just passed, but let’s face it: Whether fact or fiction, crime writers seldom write about people at their best. Of all the SS colleagues, I tend to write about the dark side more than most, studying true crime to bolster my understanding of fictional deeds.

But this season is about love. People don’t complain Valentine’s Day has become too secular, indeed, we freely spread the love. Other cultures embrace the custom, which can do nothing but promote human relations.

In personal relationships, some say the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. That need for love and the anger when it’s thwarted can cause people to react in pain, even violence.

What if they gave a war and nobody came?

Lorena
Love is also our most potent positive emotion. According to a recent NPR report, American Civil War generals so feared the power of love, they banned the popular song Lorena, afraid soldiers might abandon the war to return to loved ones they longed for. Indeed, Wikipedia makes an uncited claim that at least one Confederate officer blamed the song for the South's defeat due to low morale and homesickness.

When it comes to the broader fields of race, religion, and politics, love and hate are polar opposites. However one might criticize young generations, they are relegating racism to the trash heap of history.

David Duke and Julius Malema are two brilliant, charismatic politicians. They have the intelligence and leadership skills to effect positive change to their parts of the world, but each has chosen the darkness of hatred.

A month ago, I came upon “14 Unexpected Responses To Hatred” and I knew I wanted to write about love and hate for my post-Valentine’s article. That article and others feature a number of heroes, men and women and children who've taken a stand for goodness and light. It leads with the story of German and English World War I soldiers who laid down their arms and celebrated the Christmas of 1914 together. Naturally, generals on both sides called up replacements, but who can argue the ordinary soldiers in the trenches weren’t greater than their politicians?

Once a Teenage Heroine

I particularly draw your attention to my favorite heroine, an 18-year-old girl. The incident took place a long time ago, but if you can read about her without tearing up, you’re a better man (or certainly a better woman) than I.

Meet Keshia Thomas. At a Klan rally, she put herself at risk to save the life of a presumed Klansman or neo-Nazi.
Valentine's heart

The Ku Klux Klan is experiencing a resurgence here in Florida and likely other places as well. The new Klan takes credit for saving America from carpetbaggers, Catholics, and commies. More than ever, we need people like Keshia, like Pardeep Kaleka and his friend, former white supremacist Arno Michaelis.

Today’s article is less about crime and more about love, but failing to recognize the inverse relationship between the two would be a crime.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

That was unexpected but nice. Happy belated v-day to everyone.

A Broad Abroad said...

Well, try reading those with a dry eye! I am fervent believer in of random acts of kindness, but these examples unquestionably fall into the department of heroic deeds.