Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Am Conflicted

I'll get to this guy in a minute. First, let me tell you that I've reached a point in my life where I realize that there's no way to question some things without sounding terribly judgmental. AND, I hate being judgmental. Have worked diligently and hard to stop that trait. I don't like it; not in others, but certainly not in me...and 'me' is all I can control. So I stand guard against this natural, Human tendency.

Case in point, the other day Michael and I were driving past a home in our area. It's a very modest home. Very. It's not well kept. There's generally a dog tied at the front door and it actually sits, butt on one step, legs hanging down and touching the next step, very much like a person. The dog sits and watches the traffic go by. It doesn't look hungry or abused. To me, it seems sad. But, I digress...

This is about the house. Nanny, the World's Meanest Woman used to say, "It costs nothing to be clean. Soap and water are almost free." Her point was, that no matter who you are, how much you own or have, how poor you might be, there was no reason to NOT take care of what you have. No reason to be anything other than clean, neat, tidy. She should know, she grew up in a town in Italy that was made of dirt and not much more. She was one of the cleanest women I know.

I'm still digressing, but hang with me...because my grandmother's words have always stuck. And, it became a value of mine that resonates through how I see myself, my home, my possessions. They will fall into disarray at times, but I always find the urge to pull them back into order. Eventually. If I'm lucky enough to own it, I must be willing to take care of it.

So getting back to that house, I've often wondered why people want to own something but don't want to take care of it. At least, keep it looking neat. Just idle curiosity on my part. But, the other day, we go by the house and see a huge trailer in front of it behind a pickup truck...and out of it they are unloading three, count them three, equally huge ATV's all muddy and caked with crud. They're laughing and having a great time; dog watching wagging his tail. And, a question immediately flashed in my mind so I asked Michael what he thought....

And I was conflicted the entire time because I knew there was no way to simply wonder about what I was seeing without sounding incredibly judgmental...but I just had to ask..."I know this is going to sound like I'm judging them, but honestly I'm not, I'm simply curious- Don't you wonder about some people's values? I mean, those things are incredibly expensive and they have those, the rig to haul them around in, and the truck to pull it, all the while living in what appears to be a shit-box? Why do people do that??!"

My Lion answered, "I have no idea. I guess different people like different things and expect different things from their lives. And, you're right, it does sound very judgmental." God love him, I know he's right. I'm conflicted...

Is there a way, do you suppose, to have basic curiosity about something or someone without sounding like you feel you're in the superior position of knowledge and the bastion of good taste? I think there must be a way, but honest to god, I don't know what it is.

Which finally brings me to that smiling guy up there at the top of this rant. You know who he is...it's Michael Vick. Look at that face would you? He is a handsome Human Being. What a smile! And, how blessed is he to have landed in pro ball! Imagine throwing that charmed life right down the crapper by turning out to be a heartless, gutless, effin' cruel bastard. Ruining your good name! Now, that wasn't a judgment; that's pretty much a fact. Michael Vick- Dog fighting King Pin, supporter of cruelty, illegal betting, making money off of the death and destruction of innocent animals. Animals who don't know what more to do, than do what they're made to do. THAT GUY! That Michael Vick...

Who wanted more because his pro football salary wasn't enough?! Did that sort of trash? Yes. Look at him. You really need to see him. I need to look closely. Because I don't know him. Neither do you. We only know what we learned about him. We only know that slice of him. We DON'T know him. But, we want to hold onto what we do know; or think we know.

Now, look at the face of the dog...isn't it wonderful? Even if Pit Bulls scare the crap out of you...look at the animal and think of that face in a pit with another dog. With men standing around yelling and betting and watching one get destroyed. Hoping it's the other guy's dog and not yours...but even if it is yours, what the hell, you can always get another one. Feed it gun powder, keep it chained, make it mean, vicious...you can always get another one.

So, here's where I get conflicted- even more conflicted. Michael Vick has served two years in prison and was released recently to finish out his sentence under house arrest. By all accounts he was a model prisoner. He did his time. He made his apologies. He's served his sentence. And, I believe that once a debt to society is paid, one should be allowed to move on with a life. But, I'm a bit apprehensive that this guy might just end up back in the gold mine of playing pro ball. Should he be able to do that? Should he get those sorts of rewards? Perhaps. Especially if playing ball is all that he knows; if being an athlete is his only means to effectively make a living.

Here's the thing: I believe that when you have that sort of prestige and celebrity, whether you like it or not, you are signing on to be a role model. You sit in a place of being able to influence society for the better. You have a responsibility to teach through example. The whole, "To whom much is given, much is expected," notion. And, I'm wondering if a dog killing thug like that guy should be allowed to return to such a public position and make that sort of money. I JUST DON'T KNOW what to think...

So let's add to the confusion further...take a look at this guy. This is the president and CEO of the Humane Society of The United States.

This is, Wayne Pacelle, and not too long ago he was contacted by Michael Vick who says he wants to begin working with them to campaign against dog fighting. And, this national organization is going to take him up on the offer. Confusing, isn't it? Michael Vick going to become the poster child against the crime of Dog Fighting...

Now, I have been an excellent Public Relations professional for a lot of years and I can tell you that part of me thinks this is an absolutely brilliant idea in terms of garnering attention and buzz. But, I'm not certain that everyone will be a supporter of the HSUS's notion. Especially animal rights activists, who in my opinion, have a tendency to see things in black and white absolutes. Also, these sorts of people self-righteously believe they hold the truth. And once a mind gets locked like that, it can become pretty deadly in terms of thinking new thoughts. Yes, there's another judgment, but so be it.

So, Wayne here, is taking quite a risk in joining forces with Mr. Vick. And as a Human Being, I'm conflicted further in that, I have no trust that Vick isn't doing this as a grand PR stunt. I have no way of confirming that he now sees what he did as a life changing mistake. Or if he's doing it just to weasel his way back into society's good graces...I have no way of knowing.

And, I am conflicted.

Does he really understand that what he was involved in was wrong and cruel? Even if he was raised around it and didn't know better before he got busted...does he know better now? Does he even care that it was wrong, or does he simply care that it cost him his goods, his life, his freedom for a time? How do we know?

We don't know. Can't know. We can only sit back and judge for ourselves. But, I don't want to judge this guy. I don't know him. He's not going to come to my house and eat a sandwich with me. He's not going to meet Rory & Fiona and pet them. He's just some guy in the public eye who did some truly shitty things.

So, if I don't know why he'd think that was all right in the first place, I surely can't say that he's genuinely sorry that he did them. Or, if he's simply sorry he got caught. I don't know. Neither do you.

I've known one Pit Bull in my life. I miss her. She is my former neighbor's dog...her name is Samantha. We called her Sammy. A shelter rescue dog. Sam, would trot soundlessly through the pines bordering our properties anytime she was out and heard a car come down my driveway. She'd wiggle up to the car, tale wagging, big Pit Bull grin on her massive face. Very slowly strolling toward the car. I found that this turned out to be generally disconcerting to the visitor until they got to know her.

It took me a bit to understand it...to me she was Sweet Sam, and I'd never once seen her be aggressive to anything or anyone. Just wasn't in her. But, she was a victim of some really bad PR...like all of her kind. One time a visitor asked in a whisper, hoping I guess that Sam wouldn't hear, with a note of fear whisper, "Umm, Holly isn't that a Pit Bull?!!" And, as I laid my hand on her broad black head while she smiled up at them, I whispered back, "Umm, yeah, but she doesn't know she's a Pit Bull and we haven't told her, so you're safe."

She was just our Sweet Sam. I really liked her and wanted them to like her, too. I didn't want her judged because of mass hysteria caused by things people read or thought they knew about the breed. And, if I didn't want that for Samantha, don't I owe the very same, if not more, to a Human Being? Don't I owe that to Michael Vick? Even if I don't like it? Even if it's really hard?

I only have questions, no answers today. I told you, I'm very, very conflicted.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Samantha's Former Neighbor
All images in today's posting are courtesy of the Internet...

26 comments:

Eileen said...

Forgiving, not forgetting, and the whole idea of redemption. I guess we can't know if it'll happen if we don't take the risk to find out. I'm as conflicted as you Holly. And not even The Woman Who Owns No Animals can stand what he did. Sweet justice would be that he comes back as a dog in search of love.

Sarah said...

Wow girl you tackled several things here... let see..
I'll start with the cruelty thing - I have no tolerance for those who harm those who are weaker and smaller. I don't find that someone who can harm in such huge ways is likely to change. Is it possible - yes of coarse - but not always likely. I look at people like this as very young souls and hope they grow.
I guess given my life experience, I have learned alot about judging and being judged. I try not to - I really do. I think it is sadly human nature to judge and I think Holly you were right on. We can question and wonder without judging. I think people value different things for different reasons... how we were brought up, who we are with, sometimes I think it's personality.
I guess for me - the really important part of wondering and not judging is who you talk with about it and why - and how it makes you feel inside. If you feel anger and contempt - maybe you are judging. If you feel curious or empathy maybe not. I really think it's what you do with the wondering that matters.
Everyone has a path to follow, each of us have lessons to learn I really believe that. Sometimes it's hard not to get in the way of others lessons. To not judge and let be. I don't think wondering does any harm and may help you in the process.
Holly - it is beyond me that you would judge in a wrong way - you are a wonderful soul and wondering isn't a bad thing. So are ya judging - am thinkin' not - your wondering and that's how we grow.
Huge hugs hon - great post!! - yikes I wrote a novel!
Namaste, Sarah

Mel said...

Well, Holly...I gotta tell ya..I was ridin' my high horse, torch a-blazing and gunning for Michael Vick as I read the first half of your post....and then I got to your story of Sweet Sam and I was pulled up short. You made me think, dammit! *grin*

To judge, or not judge on only handfuls of information, especially media-driven information, is ludicrous and unwarranted in every way and I continue to strive to rise above it. But when it comes to such horrible acts of cruelty and violence...I think our basic Loving human nature takes over and we find a side fairly quickly.

I read a story once of a Shaman who sat down to his meal. He was a meat eater and for some reason, decided to reach out to the spirit of the animal whose flesh lay before him. He never ate meat again..such was the fear and confusion and panic that he experienced as the last moments of that animal's life.

I am not a violent person, I can never imagine myself doing intentional injury to anyone - but if I had the power - Michael Vick would be made to *feel* what those dogs felt at his hands...to understand the pain and the fear and the confusion....that he should be betrayed as they were.

If that is judgment, then so let it be. For some, I have a hard time with forgiveness.....and he is definitely one of them.

I, too, am conflicted on this...but not much.

Holly said...

Mel:
Do we do intentional injury to someone that we will not give a chance? To one for whom we withhold forgiveness since it's ours to give?

I don't have the answers to these questions...just the questions.

And, can we be certain he didn't feel some of those things we want him to experience while he was jailed?

Maybe not to the extend that we would hope, but feel something like it?

Again, I just have questions and conflicted feelings. I'm just asking...

Chester said...

What a well written post! It has given me much to think about. I too want to tie the guy to a tree and maybe come back in a month or two and see if he needs some water-after letting some fowl tempered, hungry dogs into the same area. Is his Humane Society work on the up and up? I have some serious doubts. But here's the thing: we should not judge all dogs or breeds by an act that one dog performs, but we do take that one dog and rehabilitate it or put it where it will no longer be a danger to any other creature. So we cannot judge all people by Michael Vick's acts of cruelty but I believe allowing him to be back in the spotlight would be a danger to society in ways we may never fully know.
Thanks again for taking the time to put this question out for all to ponder.
Chester's Mom

Toni said...

Well, me and mine have kicked this topic around endlessly ... to no conclusions. Cruel? As defined by who? (me) Wrong? Who says? Illegal, here, yes. But wrong? What about cock fighting and bull fighting and baby seal clubbing and the endless traditions of pitting animal against animal? Surely, the animals don't enjoy it ... but how can I say, and WHO am I to say, TSK TSK TSK!!! I'm not a Spanish bullfighter or an Eskimo or a skinny but arrogant rooster-owner in a slum somewhere in South America. What about the way chickens and cows and pigs are raised to feed my own tastes for their meats? Cruel. But I'm not running to turn into a vegetarian ...

bottom line for me is that I don't agree with Michael Vick, but I can't say he was "wrong". I don't think dog fighting has thing one to do with his 'profession' as a football player, and even more so as he's 'done his time'. I don't agree that athletes, actors or anyone who ends up in the public eye is obligated to be a role model -- that's what parents, siblings, close family members are for. And yes, Michael Vick is one handsome human being.

Samantha said...

Hi Dear Crone, and devoted warrior of all canines ~ I like to read you when you're on the edge of something .... still processing your thoughts ~ it's a great post. But, I have no words of wisdom to add or energy to express what I think about this. I don't know the man or the story, though you've related it well.
I just feel a sense of defeated frustration, at the truth that a man like him will continue to be able to make a living because he is a celebrity, and that therefore there is no justice for what he has done. No surprise that an organization might take him on to be a frontman for their campaign, even though his crime is in conflict with what they stand for. Oi vay.
In Love & Light.

beth said...

holly...I decided years ago to stop judging to the best of my ability and it's hard...really really hard!

I have an amazing friend who makes me laugh and think and honestly blows me away with his mind...yet he was just recently arrested and has felony charges against him...very soon he will be on house arrest with a probation officer to check on him. this is a friend who 2 years ago was a millionaire and lost everything due to the economy and some bad judgement...BUT he has kept his head held high and is continuing to amaze me with his strength and work ethic and is not letting this get or keep him down in anyway.

and who is the one and only friend standing by him and who he trusts with his life.....ME....because I have never judged him...ever. instead I stand by him and remind him, when he needs it, that he is a wonderful person.

am I conflicted ? more often than I can even share...but in my heart, I can't point a finger at him and judge....it's just not my place to do so.

what you wrote was amazing by the way...thanks for making us all use our brains and think about things and ourselves....xoxo

Opie said...

Well, it's been a while since I've commented are any of your posts, although I have read them all. And it's kinda funny that you asked me to before I read this, because I have some very strong opinions on much of what you wrote. (I'll apologize now for the length of my comment). First off, it is okay to judge others, as long as you keep it to yourself. And by "yourself" I mean keep your opinions in your world, no need to tell people what you think of them, if you don't like them leave them alone. As for that run down house with the ATV's...well, not my cup of tea that's for sure, but hey, maybe taking those machines out in the mud makes those people happy, maybe they get the same feeling from it as a pyromaniac get from watching fire, or a salesman gets when closing a big deal, maybe that the thing that keeps them sane, if so, go get muddy, who am I to judge. As for Vick. I hate him, even though he was only convicted of owning the facility and betting on the fights. He was not convicted of actually DOING anything cruel. Unlike his (I believe) cousin, who got 5-10 years for the actual animal cruelty. I can't stand any abuse. doesn't really matter if it's animal vegetable or mineral. And I believe that everything should be respected and protected from abuse. I think fishing for fun is more cruel than a cattle ranch, at least the cattle are serving a purpose and not being abused and killed to mount on a plaque. As for Vick playing ball again, would it be okay if Billy Joel was not allowed to sell another album, he been busted for drunk driving what 5 times now, has actually drove into someone's house. He never even got jail time, but he can still write music. Look at Hollywood, how many jerks there have gotten away with things or even served their time and are still allowed to make money in their profession. Is it right that Vick plays in the NFL again, sure, why not. He still has a right to work, and just because his job pays more doesn't mean he should be banned from doing it. Now, isn't working with the Humane Society a good thing. Does it matter what he's done in his past. Come on, he's major celebrity, he has the ability to reach more people than CEO Wayne Pacelle does. Isn't that a good thing? Why do you think celebrities do so many commercials, they are influential, the bigger the star the stronger the message gets across, the more the kids want to "be like Mike". Humane Society, finally has a major celebrity to advertise for them and endorse their cause. This is a good thing. Doesn't matter who it is, as long as their famous. Let's say he does get back in the pro's, then he has a charitable event for the Humane Society, well, many of his teammates will attend and contribute, some of his friends around the league will contribute, and more money and awareness will be raised for the Humane Society than ever before. Question Vick's intentions all you want, but the results will be positive. Anyone who disagrees is fooling themselves that celebrities and advertising don't work, if they didn't work, companies wouldn't spend so much money on it.
-Opie

Genie Sea said...

I am conflicted too. As I read this post, it reminded me of the same questions I have been asking myself.

Who am I to judge how someone should live?

Only if it impacts me. I have a neighbor who leaves garbage all along his front yard and between our houses. The state of their home devalues not only my house but makes the neighborhood looks bad. Not only that, they are both alcoholics and they have a small daughter. The police are often here, parked in front of my house, dealing with their mess. I worry about the little girl. Surely, they are not fit parents. They are damaging her. How can I not judge?

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

I'm of the ilk, as well, that Vick is trying only to scrub a soiled image. Were he a GENUINE puppy lover, ... well, i just canna fathom he ever was, given his past actions-- nor will be due to 'time served'.

I'm judgemental. I'm human. But-- my humanity includes a compassion, an unwritten recognition to take care-- CARE-- of whatever domesticated beings we have bred into being.

Just starting to speak my 0.02 on this post...

thanks for the opportunity to do so...

Mel said...

So many answerless questions indeed...

I don't claim to have all the answers either, but I do know this..in Mr.Vick's case..forgiveness is not mine to give - it belongs to the dogs.

And the saddest thing of all is that if they were still walking this earth...I have no doubt in my mind that they would give it freely and with love.

And that, my Dear One, is the lesson that I'd like to learn....

Joanna Jenkins said...

I have to admit, the older I get, the more judgmental I seem to get on the really big stuff! Or maybe I just hold a grudge. Or maybe I'm just out of patience.

I have no patience for the Michael Vicks of the world-- celebrities with the world on a strong that screw it all up, and in his case, in such a hateful manner. And I think that any animal rights group that stands next to him is loosing sight of their mission and going for the cheap press.

I'll be thinking about his post for a good long while. You make some great points that have left me... conflicted.

Thank you!

PS I left you a little surprise on my blog post today.

Stephanie J. B. said...

You're a human being--you have opinions from your experiences and insights. You'd probably be a robot if you were completely unbiased.

In my opinion, it doesn't matter whether you're "judging" or not. You don't have to understand everything around you in order to accept it.

As for Michael Vick, he's done his time, so let it go. What's in the past is in the past.

There's too much crap going on in this world to worry about if one man was "punished enough."

Cam@Journey Wildly said...

Holly- I read this earlier, but wasn't sure what to say, as I am also very conflicted. I've been burned enough times in my life by people that society seem to place a high value on, but are actually quite wicked people. Fool me once, etc. I'm still licking my wounds from the last round. But, I also try to remain mindful of the present moment, and that the past & future don't exist in the now. And, now is all we got. And, I try to practice Loving Kindness. Turn the other cheek, etc. But...

I am being judgmental because I think it's a total PR stunt. I just do not trust that there is inherent goodness in a person that could allow what he allowed. Encourage what he encouraged. And, I'm not sure that is something that two years in a confined setting can teach him. Maybe studying with a Guru. Doing some intensive soul searching.

I can say this: there are times that Luke will bark all night long. I will walk out and he will run like it is a game. He will continue this all night long, once an hour. On night number two or three, (as this is usually his cycle) I can be frustrated by getting up and calling out to him to go to bed. There are some nights that I turn on the light and have to walk outside. But never, do I harm him. In my most sleep deprived and frustrated state, I do not harm my friend. He trusts me, and he loves me. I do the same for him. This man not only did harm, but this man did it for sport. I would not trust him alone with another animal. And, as for the celebrity issues:

I'm with Jack Johnson on this one!

"You win
It's your show, now
So whats it gonna be
Cause people
Will tune in
How many train wrecks do we need to see?
Before we lose touch of
We thought this was low
It's bad getting worse so

Where'd all the good people go
I've been changing channels
I don't see them on the tv shows
Where'd all the good people go
We got heaps and heaps of what we sow"

Life With Dogs said...

I'm glad I got here late - many have experienced what I have when reading this post. Initial knee jerk, pause, reconsideration.

In the final analysis, he may be able to do enough good to make up for his bad deeds. For the sake of argument, let's say he was responsible for the deaths of five hundred dogs (I've no idea the actual number). But if he does a few years of promo work with animal rights groups, and convinces only ten people to NOT go in to the business - and those ten people would have taken out five hundred dogs each...

I guess the word redemption exists for a reason. Now I'll take off my thinking cap and say he's still a major jerk. Shall I send Nigel after his shins?

spottedwolf said...

I will begin by reminding you what a hard road we come from...to reach a place which questions our own predjudice. Just to reach this place of perspective self-critisizm
and be able to openly ask for others opinions....then sincerely consider them...... is a place most never reach. While all aspire to some better stage of life...most of us define "better" as "we are because we do"....correct?

Once we reach the point where we recognize our own fault in judging others...clearly....in an continuous manner...enlightenment is at hand.

At this point we are able to create balance by recognizing it is the "ACT" which refutes true dignity...not the person. The act is inherent to childhood training as was our own. The act is his or hers to portray until life makes it obvious. "To err is human...to forgive divine".

There are many of us who fight against other's ideals in a constant "war" to prove them at fault....convincing ourselves that our way will fund better existence for all.....until we sort through our own predjudices and discover we have become the same we decry.

They have yet to reach the stage, in the volume, that you have. It is part of their journey and when the time arises...and you have opportunity to share what may lighten their burden...then and only then can you offer a hand.

To extend the hand prematurely is much like the person who does not recognize the difference between wild and mild. How many times did you debate whether or not to discipline your children forcefully or passively?

To condemn a brother or a sister for an act of self-gratification is much like trying to save the planet......how does one save the "Mother" from herself ?......one cannot for as it is in all healing...she/he must first face it alone.

Arcta Firebringer said...

Having judgment is not a bad thing. We work our whole lives to develop good judgment. The only problem with being "judgmental" is that one's results don't necessarily arise from conscious thought, or aren't arrived at consciously.

There is no "allowing" when it comes to whether a person who has demonstrated bad behavior and poor judgment can go on to make a lot of money. Because life isn't fair, at least not from our point of view, which is, of necessity, limited. Also because "allowing" him to do that, or telling him he could not, would infringe on his rights in a way that I don't think we want to see.

Your post is a fine example of examining one's own process of arriving at judgment. The only thing we can control in this life is our own response to what we see, and our only hope of changing behaviors we feel are bad, is to model better ones in a way that can be understood by people who don't think like we do. And to do this in the throes of pain, sorrow, tears and despair.

Nice job!

Heather said...

You've done your job here, Holly. I'm definitely thinking about this one. I, too, seem to notice the stark contrasts of a poorly kept house with expensive "toys" - be it boats, ATVs, cars, etc. Unlike you though, I've never stopped to consider that it wasn't my place to pass judgment. Now that I've read this, it seems so obvious that I'm embarrassed I didn't consider it before. I will indeed spend more time on this.

As far as Vick, while I know intention can be exactly the point, I don't know that it is the end-all, be-all for his work with on behalf on animal rights. His involvement is sure to bring that PR-spin we're focused on, but it won't only help him. That group is sure to have their good work highlighted along-side him, regardless of his reasons for being involved. The more attention that is paid to this important work, the better - even if it isn't coming from the "right" intentions.

The Bird's Staff said...

Very thoughtful and thought provoking post. Admittedly, I may not be so much judging in my later years but find that I am less tolerant. The man disgusts me and therefore I try to discard any thoughts of him from my consciousness. You said it very well, bravo!

spottedwolf said...

well Holly........
Do you have enough relevant opinions to help you decide that which you seek??

remember this Dear lady....we are born of water and dust....while here our godliness is but ancient memory.....the circle is the journey to re...call. None are infallible. You've become a better judge of yourself in this process because you can be sure of only one thing in immeciacy....it is nothing more than a process.

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Powerful post Holly. Makes me conflicted too. My husband & I have three bassets...love them more than we should. Animal cruelty gives me nightmares. I don't know how any of us can truly know what lives in another heart. Let's hope a leopard can change its spots...for the sake of the animals that could suffer.

Pete said...

America in general, and sports specifically, are all about second chances. Let Vick have his -- the one he thinks will come but probably won't. Let someone sign him -- can you see the 24-hour security, staying at a different (non-disclosed) hotel on the road, the PETA protests? The vitrol spewed at him would be worse than anything he could imagine. Maybe someone will take a chance, but it'll be a podunk league where he's basically humiliated just to put on his uniform. You're right, he paid his debt to society. Only time will tell if he's reformed. As for his reaching out to SPCA -- a shrewd PR move. SPCA has to say yes, otherwise they're the bad guys. The guy is as talented as any athlete I've ever seen and spoken to -- and I've seen and spoken to Vick, unlike most of the people who criticize him. But talent doesn't equate smarts or common sense. This whole sordid mess is a waste -- of the lives of precious animals, or time and energy that could be better spent on bigger problems than Vick and of talent and celebrity that could have brought more good than bad. There's a difference between redemption and forgiveness. Forgiveness comes first, and I don't see it forthcoming. Maybe tolerance, albeit begrudgingly, but not forgiveness. Redepmtion? He's a long way away, an even a hail Mary pass won't get him to the end zone.

melissa said...

You know, if you participate in something that affects other beings, you are opening the door for others to judge you and your actions. If what you do affects only yourself, then free of judgment shall you remain.

As soon as Mr. Vick decided to affect those dogs, he opened the door. And now we can hate him on behalf of the creatures that have served us and been our family members for so long.

Jerk.
~m

Caroline & Co. said...

I agree with you Holly, I too believe that Michael Vick is just sorry that he got caught and ruined his career. So until he can demonstrate through actions rather than dictated and staged words that he is truly sorry for what he did, I am afraid that his desire to work with the HSUS is just a move to restore his public image, and try to rebuild his football career.
However, I am 100% behind Wayne Pacelle’s decision to accept Michael Vick’s request for several reasons. I won’t enumerate them all in this comment, but I will share with you the main one. I don’t care about Michael Vick, I care about the thousands animals – dogs and cats (used as bait in the fighting rings) -- who are currently suffering from the dog fighting industry. I see the urgency to eradicate dog fighting and its violent and inhumane culture permanently. To do so actions must be taken at the root of the issue quickly. Michael Vick is at the root of the issue. I see him as an opportunity to really make a difference if he can allow the HSUS to get a better understanding of this culture and change it by reaching out to the population who participates in these activities, and educate youth about this problem.
Even though he went to prison and paid his dues to society, I have not forgiven him for his actions. In my opinion, the sentence was still too light in comparison to the cruelty of the crimes. But I think that it is smarter to use him than to just endlessly condemn him. For the HSUS this could be a turning point in its campaign against dog fighting, for Michael Vick this could be the first step to a very long road to redemption (though it might take him a few lifetimes!)

Donna said...

Holly, I too received the e-mail in regards to Michael Vicks...this is what I sent to the Humane Society of The United States.
OK, so I didn't save a copy... but I said that I could forgive Vicks but I would never forget and by him doing good with the Humane Society he could have a good influence on others who are involved in dog fighting or are thinking about getting involved...perhaps seeing that Michael Vicks has turned his life around might just change the hearts and minds of others.
As for playing football, I don't know....that's a hard question. If they take him back, he still might not get the endorsements that he had before....it will be hard to watch him play knowing what he did....I truly believe GOD will have his day with Michael Vicks.

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