Book Intro: ‘Dying for Attention in Portland’

Here’s a portion of the Introduction to my book. It helps set the stage for the book’s emphasis. (Remember, the book is not like MJ blog in every respect!). Please read the Preface also to prepare for the tone of the story –

                             “Dying for Attention in Portland”


      “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.”  

                                                       –  Carl Jung

“On November 22nd, 1963, President John  F. Kennedy was riding in a limo along with the governor of Texas and their wives. As they wove along the highway, waving to the public lining the streets edge, President Kennedy was shot twice …. once in the neck, once in the head …. before slumping over towards his wife Jacqueline in the back seat.”

“While we listened to reporters on TV or radio, President Kennedy was being treated at Dallas’ Parkland Memorial Hospital Trauma Room 1. In stillness we waited for some indication of how serious his injuries were. We went through a multitude of feelings, thoughts and reactions together …. all because we honored our President and felt stricken ourselves by the attack he suffered.

The deeply tragic news stunned everyone in America and around the globe! It never mattered most of us were from different political parties, races or religions. As we all kept our eyes on TV coverage we were ‘one people’ with a common bond ….we valued the life of our leader! And …. back then, we trusted the somber, hushed tones of TV reporters and the few facts they could scrape together in their quest for updates on President Kennedy’s condition.

Do we have a populace now that’s as cohesive as that of 1963? Are we bound by a common respect for life and death like the majority were in 1963? Even a space alien would tell you ‘NO’.

Things have changed in the last couple decades. We’re living in a time where murder or mass murder is a bit more commonplace in the news. Our views about violence are increasingly being controlled by media, not by trusted sources like our families, church. 

I wrote this book because many times we judge or fear an act of violence and cannot foresee any reason to think any good could come out of it! We generally see homicide as happening outside our realm of life experience and simply don’t want to have any dialogue past the tragedy itself … but that’s unhealthy. Our fears, revulsion many times keeps us stunted from letting our hearts and minds question, ‘how could this have happened’. Or ‘what kind of legacy can come out of the murder of a cherished one’? 

In this age where media is king, and real human life is trivialized, we usually don’t get to know anyone very deeply or form lasting relationships. We make immediate judgements of others based on their comments, clothing, demeanor or accent instead. I detest that trend and don’t want to cave to that tendency that makes life cheap, and murder not so horrific.  I don’t want to give into the media hype that conveys violence doesn’t hurt the victim’s families or society for long, or it’s easy to get over.

I’m sharing in these pages a raw experience because we’re all made better by others unadulterated life experiences!  I believe the recounting of personal experiences enriches survivors of a tragedy as well as the public. We rely on those around us to give us accurate personal accounts of life during joy and pain, it’s the normal way people negotiate through life with a healthy attitude.

I hope this book helps open up dialogue on this topic so we grow past our fears, pessimism.

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Have you ever thought beyond your fear of violence, death? We are so shielded in this age re: pain but it’s a part of life we need to accept in order to be wholly functional. God works in the good and hard times, He never lets anything go to waste!


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