We the people

To the Editor:

Your guest column by Stephen Heyman touched my soul.

I, too, do not attend to the practices of the religion in which I was raised, but my blood, my DNA and my cultural background identifies me as a Jew, too. I have not been faced with outward disapproval, but I have experienced side comments and references to “those people” during my long life. I responded viscerally to Stephen Heyman’s guest column. I have cried over the other inhumane shootings and brutal behavior and the loss of innocent lives that have been in the media as of late.

As a mental health therapist, I am familiar with people who have learned and grown to hate, and I have great sympathy for their ruined and wasted lives. But this one hit home for me. The time, the place and the people did not deserve this act of uncivilized brutality. I despair that the beasts have taken over the country. We must show them that such cruel and unwarranted behavior is unacceptable.

All Americans, regardless of the differences we have, are guaranteed the right to pursue a life of acceptance and opportunity. We outnumber the minority who want to reserve these rights for only those they identify as “appropriate.” We need to protect every one of our citizens; men, women and children, whatever their beliefs, race, sexual orientations or any other differences they may have. I’ve worked with many people in therapy and the common denominator of all of them is to feel loved, be productive and feel part of a community. I recommend that we don’t despair, we can achieve all that life has to offer. We just need to remember that we have not only the obligation, but also the power to make this possible.

Etty Garber, Phd