Welcome to Three Questions with Van Heerling. This is where you get to meet authors, actors, painters and anyone else that is bent toward the arts, but on a more personal level.
Today I welcome Teresa Kennedy author of In The Country of No Compassion.
VH: If you could change one thing about our world, what would it be and why?
TK: I would restore a sense of tolerance to society as a whole. It seems as though we've utterly lost the ability to 'live and let live'. As a result, the so-called "issues" that confront us only serve to polarize us into endless factions--rich and poor, gay and straight, smoker and non-smoker, liberals and conservatives--take your pick.Worse, every so-called issue is somehow being elevated to a state of equal importance, and people really lose sight of what really matters in this life. We need to focus on our common goals--everyone wants enough money, everyone wants to raise their kids, everyone wants to be healthy and productive. Instead we've been seduced into thinking we can only have our "rights" at the expense of someone else's and it's undermining the entire fabric of the culture.
VH: Amen to that sister.
If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
TK: I was a funny kid in the sense that I never really got a big kick out of being a kid. I mean, I knew the grownups had all the power, and I wanted to be one of them. Playing hide 'n' seek was never as cool as say, getting to drive. But I guess I would say: never lose your vision, your imagination, or your sense of wonder. Never lose your ability to love without question, and to view the world as a place full of endless possibilities, because in the end, the people who do that have all the power, anyhow.
VH: When was the last time you helped someone that was desperately in need? What did you do? Was this person grateful?
TK: I live in an area where there are lots of people in desperate need, so there are lots of opportunities. I've had illegals come through and take the laundry off my clothesline; I don't mind. They need those jeans and t-shirts more than I do. I used to have a kid named Manny show up once in awhile looking for work, and he'd do the yard or whatever odd jobs I had available. Sometimes he'd disappear for months, and I'd know he'd been deported again. Last time he showed up, he told me he was heading for Vancouver to be with his wife and baby. He had an ugly new scar that ran from his forehead to his chin, and when he took off his shirt, I could see the fresh bruises from where he'd been beaten. He never asked for anything except the usual ten bucks an hour. I packed him up a couple days' worth of food and water and all the cash I had on hand--about 60 bucks. When I gave it to him, he broke down and cried and said, "God bless you."
I cried too.
That was two years ago. I hope he made it.
VH: I hope he made it too. Sometimes we don't realize just how well off most of us are, even with all or our "problems." Thank you for spending time with me Teresa. Until next time.
In The Country of No Compassion
Offering literary fiction with a spiritual twist, Kennedy's collection focuses on characters in crisis and subjects as relevant as the daily news. A young amputee and Iraq veteran struggles for a definition of heroism in "Times New Roman", while a recovered ex-alcoholic frees himself from the past in "The Thirteenth Step."
Other stories in this collection focus on the controversy surrounding illegal immigration and the US-Mexican Border. "Ex Voto" finds a young Mexican relinquishing his dreams to discover his art, while in "Undocumented" a rancher tries to save his land, at risk of his soul.
A resident of Tucson, Arizona, author Kennedy's take on the issues is up close and personal. Hers is a vision rich with humanity, the promise of redemption, and a timeless understanding. As she leads readers through the borderlands of myth and reality, she reminds us that for all of our wars and conflicts and failings, God never takes sides and that compassion is indeed revolution.
Teresa Kennedy is an author, editor and publisher with more than 25 years experience in the publishing industry. An author or co-author of more than 30 published books, including fiction and non-fiction, she has also run an independent newspaper and published a variety of short stories and articles in publications around the world. Currently the Editor in Chief of Village Green Press LLC, http://villagegreenpressLLC.com She has served as a senior editor, acquisitions editor and consulting editor for a variety of publishers, agents, and book packagers around the country.
"For me, writing is a joyful torture or sorts." ~vh~
“In this life, seek your own answers, and quote yourself for a change.” ~vh~
The muse has tapped my shoulder and my ear is turned toward her lips. I am waiting for her whisper. ~vh~
"The funny thing about life: more often than not it’s laughing at you rather than you laughing at it." ~vh~
"At some point there is a moment when you should give up. I’m here to tell you that today is not that day." ~vh~
“If you are afraid of the truth, never ask a young child a question.” ~vh~
“The frailty of life is most evident at its last breath.” vh
“Prove not to the world but to yourself that you are above your current circumstance.” ~vh~
"Don't be wishful when it comes to your dreams. Take aggressive action in your pursuit of them. Start now with a single step, no matter how insignificant it may feel." ~vh~
"Nothing is more powerful than an unwavering, unapologetic decision to BE." ~vh~
"Strive to be the light in an ever-darkening world. SHINE!" ~vh~
"Think big and then think small. That’s where the details live." ~vh~