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Leon Albushies was a high caliber man & a unique role model

To The Daily Sun,

I read with deep sadness the passing of Mr. Leon R. Albushies. What a rush of memories and feelings for me.

I did know Mr. Albushies. I met him many years ago when he moved into the apartment complex I was living in. We engaged in countless conversations over those years and he was always the gentleman, especially when there was a difference of opinion between us. We shared very similar philosophies, along with frequent laughter.

We lost touch with each other when I moved away. Two years ago, to my great delight, I found him ahead of me in line to receive our complimentary tickets to see the first lady, Michelle Obama. We spent the time talking and laughing just like we had all those years ago.

My sincere, heartfelt condolences to Mr. Albushies' (Leon, to me) family. To his children, Susan, Tom, and Lauren: you were blessed to have a father of such high caliber and a unique role model to emulate. Thank you for submitting Leon's last letter to The Sun. Thank you, The Daily Sun, for publishing it. I now have a memento of Leon's last voice for peace.

Michelle P. Choquette

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Antidote for the hate & fear that characterize our discussions

To The Daily Sun,

This Christmas season, when Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ — the powerful personification of love — I have been saddened by the hatred, fear, and polarization that seems to characterize our national conversation and behavior.

The following poem by Rumi was brought to my attention recently. Rumi was a visionary, poet and mystic from the Sufi tradition, which is connected with the Islamic faith. His works have been translated into many languages and it is said that he is one of the world's most favorite poets. In the words of one Sufi teacher, Sufism is "a science through which one can know how to travel into the presence of the Divine, purify one's inner self from filth, and beautify it with a variety of praiseworthy traits" (Ahmad ibn Ajiba). But this wise and luminary poet could have easily have been a Christian mystic, a Buddhist monk who spent years in the "presence of the Divine," or a spiritual seeker from any number of other religious and spiritual traditions.

During this season where Love is more palpable, and shown through giving and tolerance, and prayers for peace are expressed out loud, I offer this Rumi poem as food for thought:


Every war and every conflict

Between human beings has happened

Because of some disagreement about names.

It is such an unnecessary foolishness,

Because just beyond the arguing

There is a long table of companionship

Set and waiting for us to sit down.

What is praised is one, so the praise is one too,

Many jugs being poured into a huge basin.

All religions, all the singing, one song.

The differences are just illusion and vanity.

Sunlight looks a little different

On this wall than it does on that wall,

And a lot different on this other one,

But it is still one light.

We have borrowed these clothes,

These time-and-space personalities,

From a light, and when we praise,

We are pouring them back in.

Carol Hart

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