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  1. How many of us really know what it's like to live in a rough world filed with dangers and violence? Recently my grandfather passed away from a massive heart attack, which was also unexpected, and as a doting grandchild I was naturally devastated. Given time to recover and dwell on the event, I've thought about a lot of things lately. I'm fortunate to have known all of my grandparents, even though my grandmother passed away a few years ago. My parents and brother are all alive and well, and I'm really very lucky indeed. By this point in many people's lives, they've experienced much more loss and suffering.

    Even the people of Japan, whose lives and homes were torn apart from the devastating earthquake and tsunami, and who now live in fear of the radiation that fills the air and some food sources. A year ago the earthquake that impacted the poverty in Haiti. The constant war in Afghanistan, which harms both our soldiers and civilians living there. The uprisings in a fight for democracy that fills Egypt, Libya, now Syria, and who knows how Middle Eastern countries will follow. I applaud their quest for freedom, and pray for countries under Communist rule.

    Slavery is still such an issue, even if it's illegal in the United States. Worldwide, countless people are still in bondage. Women are still considered the lesser gender by many, especially overseas. So much destruction fills this war. This includes murders, abduction, gangs, and addiction.

    So here's to the victims in Japan and Haiti, the rebels in Libya, the children enslaved, and the children in sweatshops. The kid in Afghanistan to the kid in your town, bullied on the school bus every morning. Here's to them, for showing me how lucky I really am, and her's to the hope that keeps them going.
  2. So, today is Easter, April 24. For Christians everywhere that means going to Mass and hearing about Jesus Christ rising from the dead. This is even a time for those Christians who like to say they have faith, but never attend church, to pull out the GPS and find out where the nearest parish is. Today is the end of Lent, a time of mourning, the end of Holy Week. Today for the first time since Ash Wednesday I can say Alleluia.

    The secular side of Easter turns it from a day to celebrate that Jesus is the true Messiah, to an arrival of spring. This includes chicks, Easter eggs, chocolate and jelly beans. Of course you can't forget to mention the Easter Bunny, who reigns with Santa Claus over toy distribution. Reading this, you might be given the wrong impression. Even I celebrate Easter's non-religious side, and I think it's perfectly acceptable that others do too.

    But I don't think that Easter should be celebrated if the celebrators forget about Jesus. Like Christmas, Easter has been adopted by members of other faiths and atheists as an excuse to get presents and eat sugar. As for those who say they celebrate Easter as a observance of spring, I say stop making excuses. If that is so, why not not celebrate it on the official start of spring, March 20? Or even the meteorological start of spring, March 1?

    If you only celebrate Easter for the candy, I would suggest you try to look into why Easter exists at all.

    There will always be some people who disagree with the entire Christianity religion. They'll say that Jesus is not the Son of God. There will be one way to prove them true. Find the body. Find the body of Jesus Christ. No one has yet. Still, I won't go door to door trying to recruit you to my faith. All I can do is post this, hope someone will read it, and understand what I'm trying to say.