Editorial: Thumbs

Published 6:57 am Sunday, August 5, 2012

Editorial: Thumbs

To the relative safety of Albert Lea.

Stories that begin with sentences like this seem all-too common: “One man is dead and two others are injured in a shooting in north Minneapolis.” Or this: “Authorities have ruled the deaths of two friends found shot about a mile apart in St. Paul a homicide and a suicide.”

Is it just us? News about murders in the Twin Cities remind us each and every time just how fortunate we all are to be living in a place like Albert Lea. Sure, no place is crime-free, but Albert Lea has a lot less violent crime to worry about compared to Minneapolis and St. Paul. Be glad you live where you do.

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To the Elephant Encounter.

What a joy it was to have elephants at the Freeborn County Fair. They are such smart, talented and endearing creatures. It’s good to see them treated so well, too. We would welcome Bill and Cindy Morris of Tampa, Fla., back to the Freeborn County Fair anytime.


To Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.

America far and away holds the record for the country with the most Olympic medals, but it didn’t have the record for one athlete with the most medals. Until Michael Phelps captured his 19th medal in London last week (and the number of medals he now has is 21), that record for 48 years had belonged to former Soviet Union gymnast Larisa Latynina. America is proud that an American can now claim the title of most decorated Olympic athlete.


To Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas.

Talk about the feel-good story of the Olympics. Imagine leaving your 14-year-old daughter to live in a city halfway across the country so she can perfect her skills at a sport. Do football, baseball and basketball players ever take such measures? Maybe they open enroll in a neighboring district, at the most. The mother of Gabby Douglas left her daughter with host parents in Des Moines, Iowa, so she could be coached under Liang Chow. Douglas’ family lives in Virginia Beach, Va. It all paid off because the now-16-year-old girl won a gold medal in London last week. And it just so happens she is the first African-American gymnastic gold medalist.


To parents to fail to instill confidence in children.

Self-confidence comes from having a sense of competence. Sometimes, the best way to help children feel like they are good at something is to spend time with them doing things. Play catch. Take your kid to the pool. Read with them. Praise their achievements big and small. And when they make mistakes, encourage them to keep trying because you believe in them. There simply are too many parents who aren’t spending enough time giving their kids proper confidence.