A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Forgiving Vick

The big controversy in southeastern Pennsylvania this week has been the Eagles signing Michael Vick to a one year contract. Vick is the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback who recently finished serving time for financing a dog-fighting ring on a farm he owned in Virginia. This allegation was dwarfed by the fact that Vick put several dogs to death that were not fighting up to their potential.

People here are outraged at the Eagles action, and no one can blame them. Animal lovers and animal rights groups have been protesting near the team's practice sites. Football fans have been putting their season tickets up for sale on Craigslist. They have the right to be angry, but now, one week after this news broke, it may be time to turn our collective frustration into something more positive.

For his part, Vick has expressed remorse at his past actions, and pledged to help discourage animal cruelty in the community. This is fine; so far, so good. This satisfies the first part of the contract in redemption and salvation. Now it’s our turn to fulfill the second part of the contract of forgiveness.

Many people are conceding that, yes, everyone deserves a second chance. Many people, that is, with the exception of dog-lovers; so far they have proven to be a rather unforgiving lot. Now the problem is, “Why us? Why here? Why Philadelphia?”

Please bear in mind, people, the real meaning of the word “Philadelphia” – the City of Brotherly Love. That right there should be enough for us to find it in our hearts to give Michael Vick a second chance. It’s not “City of Brotherly Love, except for low-lifes who destroy defenseless animals.” I’m not sure what the Latin translation for that would be, but I’m sure it won’t fit neatly on a city seal or flag. No, it is “City of Brotherly Love,” no conditions, if, ands, or buts.

Yes, this forgiveness business is not the easiest thing to accomplish, but it is the right thing to do. Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb has obviously forgiven Vick, as have Coach Andy Reid and Eagles management. I’d be willing to bet that any dogs that would approach Vick on the street would do so with tails wagging in friendship. Okay, so maybe that doesn’t say much about the animals’ intelligence, but it does say a lot about their capacity to express love. Somehow it’s that capacity that has been lost in the human race.

We would all want to have another chance to prove ourselves when we make mistakes, yet we are very unwilling to extend this courtesy to our fellow man. This is very curious given that we have the ability to reason through most situations life throws at us. Human nature can be so treacherous at times.

We should forgive Vick for his past and wish him well for the future. After all, if the public relations nightmare isn’t enough, just think of his material loss: over $100 million in endorsement deals. That is more money than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes! Some will want more like a pound of flesh, but there are times when we have to say “enough is enough” and move on.

If you’re reading this and you still have a problem with Vick’s comeback with the Eagles, then perhaps a writing exercise is in order. Take a pen and paper and write, “This is the City of Brotherly Love. This is the City of Brotherly Love.” Do this 100 times, or until you believe it with all your heart, or until you develop carpal tunnel and your hand falls off.

Now suddenly forgiveness seems less painful, doesn’t it?

(Thank you for reading. Please remember to take the high road in life whenever the opportunity arises.)


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