A Letter To The Editor

The following is a New York Times Letter To The Editor that did not run, but should have:

The grief and sorrow I, along with so many others, feel about Barbaro (A Broken Horse, May 22, 2006) is understandable, for an animal’s beauty, purity, courage, and dependency along with its bravery and stamina are qualities we all identify with. We can empathize and identify because as children we had the same qualities. When childhood goes well there is a beautiful outcome, a race well run. But when as children we are asked to perform without the amount of support and love necessary, we lose our footing and we identify with Barbaro, too. Expecting a three-year old thoroughbred to compete before his bones are well formed is like asking an unprepared child to meet life with values and equanimity. We emulate the spirit and we are overcome by tragedy of this horse who stands for us all. My question is why we find it so difficult to identify with the men and women whose lives we put on the line every second of every day whether they be soldiers, police, or fire fighters. And why we undervalue the teachers who valiantly try to educate our children. Things seem so out of proportion.
Jane S. Hall