Editorial: Thumbs

Published 6:02 am Sunday, November 4, 2012

Editorial: Thumbs

To vandalism.

What really is to be gained when someone — usually teenagers or young adults — decides to commit random property damage? Why do they do it? These crimes are frustrating to the victims because they cannot see a reasonable cause.

But there is. Psychologists call it “projection.” They say it is because the vandals are unable to deal with their own emotions, so they displace that inner turmoil onto other things. Sure, the kids might act perfectly happy and normal and seem unwilling to admit there are problems within, but, to be sure, there are real psychological reasons for committing this type of random violence. It often stems back to issues at home, like a divorce, domestic abuse or lack of parental guidance, sometimes even a lack of feeling loved.

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To youth coaches.

The best ones don’t coach for the sake of community recognition or for the sake of praise from parents. They coach for the kids. They coach because they believe in their particular sport’s positive influence on the kids, often because they experienced that same good influence as a child. They coach because they like to see the smiles on their children’s faces when they succeed.

By the same token, we at the Tribune like to see those smiles, too. We encourage youth coaches to send in photos of their teams, win or lose, especially at the end of the season. We encourage them to include a caption that names the kids in the photo and says something about how the season went. Coaches can send them to the Tribune, 808 W. Front St., Albert Lea.


To increased seat belt use.

Southeastern Minnesota’s seat belt usage went from 84.7 percent in 2011 to 86.7 percent this year, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Moreover, seat belt use statewide is at a record high of 93.6 percent.

Seat belt use saves lives. We all know that, and that should be enough to get people to wear them. But seat belt use also makes the jobs of first responders easier. No one — troopers, deputies, police officers, emergency medical technicians, firefighters, reporters, photographers, snowplow drivers, fellow motorists — wants to see a grisly highway crash with injuries and fatalities, especially when so much suffering could have avoided by wearing a seat belt. Stay safe out there and be smart. Buckle up.