Our Voice: We're thankful for chance to understand each other

Em-pa-thy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Most all of the world's problems, from war to hunger, could be lessened if we had a more empathy for each other.

Today we're grateful for opportunities to have more empathy for each other.

Autistic gifts

Temple Grandin is an inspiring woman. Her theory is that she's been able to do so many things because she is autistic, not in spite of it.

"There's too much emphasis on the deficits and not the benefits (of autism)," she said.

Grandin was in town this week for an autism conference.

She can teach us a lot. And so can the many other people in the Mid-Columbia who are autistic.

There are things that people with autism do better than those who are not on the autistic spectrum.

When we stop trying to put everyone in the same box, we see a whole new set of gifts and talents.

We are thankful for people who bring variety and abundance to our lives.

Walk a mile

Farmer Gary Larsen employs about 180 migrant workers. He thought he understood the issues these workers face. Now, he understands a little better -- now that he has had the chance to walk in their footsteps.

Larsen's experience is part of the Borderland documentary series. His journey starts in an Arizona morgue where he is assigned to retrace the path of people who died trying to cross the border.

In almost every case, when we get to know someone else better, we are more understanding.

Immigration is a complex issue. Emotions are high on both sides. There are political and economic issues at play.

But it's about more than issues, it's about people.

We're grateful for the hope that comes from seeing each other in a new light.

Go team

Attending Washington State University Tri-Cities is not the typical college experience. In most ways, it's much better -- at least we like to think so. But we might be biased.

In some ways, however, administrators are trying to give students a taste of what they might get at other schools. The latest addition is someone to cheer for.

It's not likely there will be a football stadium on the Richland campus anytime soon. But starting this fall, Coug fans will be able to cheer on their soccer teams -- and there will be rugby in the spring.

These will be club sports. It will give students a more complete experience and build campus pride.

Sports at the high school level unifies an entire community and enhances students' lives. College sports can do the same.

WSU Tri-Cities doesn't need sports. They offer a great education and have a lot of amenities you would not get elsewhere.

But the sports teams will be a nice addition for the students and the rest of us.