Breaking up with a narcissist is hard to do

Over the weekend, a friend left an abusive relationship after four years.

On the surface, the narcissist seemed to have it together — he even had presented himself publicly in the media as wealthy, successful and brilliant.

The parents were even happy because they appeared "rich," but behind the performance, the truth seeped through.

It became obvious the abuser wasn't taking care of his physical, mental or even spiritual health.

He was hiding massive debt and lying pathologically to feel in control.

When given opportunities to show humility, he would never accept personal responsibility.

If you know of anyone going through a breakup with a narcissist like this, please show them compassion.

Let them know that being stuck in an abusive relationship wasn't their fault.

Don't provoke them to feel like they have to defend the abuser because they feel the relationship was a reflection of their character.

Getting temporarily stuck in toxic relationships happens to a lot of good people.

Remind them that with embracing a higher love, and practicing self-love — healing is possible.

And that you love them, too.

Alex Lavidge


DOJ suit against Google is foolish

I am writing about the Department of Justice's foolish lawsuit against Google that will harm American businesses during these harsh economic times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of Google, small businesses across Tennessee and America have a fighting chance to outlast the pandemic via the online marketplace and other services tech offers. Many businesses are still open because of the opportunities technology makes possible. Simply put, Google is not the enemy the lawsuit claims it is.

If the DOJ succeeds in splintering America's tech industry, it would only make these tough times even harder for small business owners and their families. Google has been a lifeline during these unprecedented times, and businesses are adapting to make money and connect with suppliers and consumers thanks to Google's platform.

The federal government should be focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19, not wasting taxpayer money and hindering Google from helping American companies. This will only lead to a slower recovery and weaker economy.

I call on Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery to avoid joining this suit or any others that would harm consumers and potentially throttle back digital tools we are depending on.

Mason Jones


Eschew 'America First,' put 'others before me'

I am troubled by a political slogan that has become a mantra for all that ails us — "America First!" As a believer, that sentiment seems counter to our first principles and obligations as "one nation under God." Besides, it's bad policy and a threat to our spiritual and physical health.

The natural extension of a consistent application of an America First philosophy — the dangerous doctrine of self-centeredness — is a significant departure from what a Christian nation ought to teach its citizens. That line of reasoning trickles down to my state first, my community first, my family first, and finally me first.

The radical "others before me" core principle has been the root of American exceptionalism. The "others first" principle is at the heart of the simple sacrifices we are asked to make, like wearing a mask and keeping our distance for a while.

Those requests may be uncomfortable and perhaps embarrassing, but should be easy for folks whose faith asks them be their brothers' keeper. For non-believers it just makes good sense. As words written in red declared long ago, "the last shall be first, and first shall be last (Matthew 20:16).

Gary L. Riggins, Cleveland