If you read this column with any regularity, you know that I have used it as a medium to give you a peek into how those in the law enforcement world view the job they are tasked with. I have used it as a place to recognize those in our area who might ordinarily go unrecognized, and on occasion I have told you stories of what makes me tick. Today I will stray a bit from that.
Just for some perspective, I entered adulthood being instilled with the belief that knowledge is power and the better educated you were, the better decisions you would be able to make for both yourself and those around you. Those that know me will tell you that I am somewhat of an information “junkie”. I thrive on reading and learning about what is going on, not only locally, but around a globe that seems to shrink as communication and information from far away destinations is as close as a keyboard or a smartphone. I have also made a concerted effort to compile that input from as wide a variety of sources as possible. Via newspapers, magazines and the internet… information abounds.
With all of that having been said, I will tell you that our nation lost a great contributor to the public dialogue yesterday.
We regularly see celebrities, sports figures, and politicians enter the spot light and ultimately leave it on a daily basis. For most, it happens without as much as a glance from much of the public and has little, if any, profound impact.
But yesterday was different.
Yesterday we lost one of the most insightful men that I have ever seen or heard of. Charles Krauthammer was an intellectual that comes along very rarely. As someone who seeks data from other sources besides cable news, his was a voice I longed to hear and whose views carried great weight.
To put his work into perspective; Presidents from both sides of the aisle listened to what he had to say and respected his wisdom. If you haven’t read his book, “Things that Matter”, you should stop what you are doing right now and do so. It is a glimpse into the mind of a genius and it is captivating.
For those that were not fans there are a few things you should know. First and foremost Charles was gifted right out of the gate. A person who was on the fast track to being a doctor. A young man who had been accepted at Harvard. Yet, when fate stepped in and left him a quadriplegic he didn’t miss a beat. (Later in life he wrote letters to others who became paralyzed, encouraging them to not lose hope). He went from being on track to becoming a physician to becoming a psychiatrist and later an insightful political analyst and columnist for the Washington Post.
While I am in South Texas and he was in Washington, the battle that Charles went through with cancer gave us common ground, and his approach to that fight was inspirational. I am sad to see him go. The letter he released to the world on June 8th, announcing that his end was near was both eloquent and heart-breaking. He left this world on his terms, with a dignity few can mimic. And for all of the people my journey has led me to interact with, few have impressed me as much as Mr. Krauthammer.
If you take nothing else away from the few minutes it took you to read this, take this: There are great minds in our midst. They speak through our media outlets and they write books. They teach at schools and churches. They provoke (both young and old) to use their minds and think for themselves. Commit yourself to seek these people out. Find someone who inspires you and then…inspire others.
Farewell Mr. Krauthammer, to borrow your words, your “life was one that was well-lived”, your pen was one that made an impact, and you will certainly be missed.
Until next time, Chief Eric Kaiser
ERIC KAISER is the Chief of the Jourdanton Police Department.