The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

February 26, 2014

Our View: Turning the other cheek

— Meg Bourne Hulsey, founder of the nonprofit Art Feeds, wants to turn an act of vandalism into something that will bring about good.

Instead of channeling energy into anger at senseless damage to property, Hulsey is urging others to commit acts of kindness to send a message.

Good for Hulsey. Her reaction sets the tone for the many children who have looked to her and her staff for guidance and healing following the May 2011 tornado.

Hulsey learned Thursday that a bus that serves as a mobile art workshop was broken into, the sound system and DVD player stolen and the wiring in the dash ripped out. The stolen items amount to about $1,200, but the damage to the 1989 Winnebago Spectrum may not be able to be fixed if parts can’t be found.

Art Feeds serves about 4,500 area children each week. Art is used as a way to help build youngsters confidence and self-esteem. It’s the kind of program that aims to teach children to have respect for others and their property.

Hulsey’s program is one that has helped many a child to heal following the tornado. In fact, the bus itself was turned into a rolling art workshop by volunteers who worked on the 2011 “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” following Joplin’s EF-5 tornado. The bus was given to Art Feeds as a gift.

Hulsey says students in the program are taught that retaliation for one person’s bad deed is unacceptable. She is asking all of us to set an example for her students by passing along our kindness to others.

In the meantime, we recommend that those responsible for this selfish act make it right. Nothing less than full restitution would be acceptable, in our view.

Turning the other cheek is just one of life’s lessons. Another is accepting responsibility for destructive actions.

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