Your Ad Here

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Perspective: A Path Of Redemption For Michael Vick

By Scott Nance

I'm not a sports fan. I didn't have any opinions of football star Michael Vick regarding him or his career. I hadn't even heard of him until stories of his dogfighting came to light in the press.

I'm a dog owner. More than that, I have cared for dogs for years and volunteered to help many lovable dogs find new homes, sometimes coming from abusive situations. So you can imagine my opinion of him once I learned of his crime. To describe it in words would be only cliche and trite.

My opnion of Vick began to change somewhat when I read an account of his guilty plea in court. After expected the repudiations of dogfighting, he said, "I will redeem myself. I have to."

I found it to be a somewhat surprising thing for him to say and if he is sincere, a really brave thing to say, as well.

If Vick is sincere, it is possible for him to redeem himself and I began to think about a path he could travel to accomplish that.

Vick, of course, will have to travel that path following whatever mode of spirituality he finds in his heart, be it Christianity or any other.

However, I can only describe that path within the context of my own spirtual path, that of Buddhism.

In that light, what Vick has done -- abuse and kill other beings simply for sport and pleasure -- carries very heavy negative karma. That karma is already bringing him suffering and will continue to carry suffering in the future.

But it is said that the only good thing about negative karma is that it can be purified. Michael Vick can purify his negative karma.

The history of Buddhism is filled with stories of horrible murderers even who once they sincerely dedicate themselves to the spiritual path completely purify their karma and attain enlightenment, which is the goal of all Buddhists.

Clearly, as Vick himself said, he will have whatever prison time he is given to reflect and think about his actions. That is the start.

There are reports of the Vick's employers looking to reclaim millions they paid him on his contract. I hope that after prison though he is left with some wealth.

That wealth won't be for his own benefit. Rather, it could become a valuable resource to a great number of good works to benefit as many others as possible.

In fact, to be serious about redemption, Vick has to forget about any future back in pro football. He has to begin sincerely and consistently putting others before himself.

Considering his crime is dogfighting, Vick may consider appropriate after prison his first good works will be to help homeless and abused animals, donating time and money to animal shelters, humane societies and the like. If he does have a love of football, he could also give of himself to youth sports and other youth programs, for instance.

Vick, however, should not in any way advertise or promote his connection to these good works. If he does, he may get some good PR in the short term but not actual redemption. No, Vick needs to do these good works not to shine attention to himself but rather merely for trying to help others and be of benefit. If Vick goes about these good acts but the world never hears of them or even hears much of Michael Vick ever again, he will be on the right path.

If Vick does all of this, along with prayer, meditation or whatever other spiritual support Vick finds to be authentic to him, he will find a genuine transformation within himself.

It will likely take a lifetime, but Michael Vick will be redeemed. He is right, he has to be.

More than that, if he is successful, Michael Vick will actually become a role model of all of the rest of us who need our own redemption.

A journalist for 20 years, Scott Nance is publisher of Life, The Universe Media, including the Life, The Universe ... and On The Hill news sites.

Watch more breaking news now on our video feed:

Bookmark and drop back in sometime.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home