Who, you might well ask, is John Fetzer, and why I am taking the time to thank him?
John Fetzer (1901-1999) was an electrical engineer, a baseball fanatic, a radio and television pioneer, and a man who dedicated himself and his fortune to the “unseen elements” of life — the potential of love and forgiveness to create a better world. Currently operating with an endowment of over $400 million, the Fetzer Institute operates its own programs and services, but occasionally does offer grants that are competitively awarded.
That’s who John Fetzer was, and I am thanking him because in 2009 the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Main was the recepient of a grant from the Fetzer Institute, as part of the Let’s Talk About It Series: Love, Forgiveness, and Wisdom (LFW).
Our LFW reading and discussion programs were held here at Main from January through March, and we had a wonderful time. With over 20 participants at each of our five meetings, we were led by Dr. Heather McNaugher of Chatham University, and we discussed both classic and contemporary works of fiction with a focus on the role of forgiveness in the readings and in our own lives. When we discussed The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare, we were treated to a reading of Act V, Scene III by a troupe of actors from Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Drama. And when we read the poetry of Rumi, we heard the poetry read aloud in both English and the original Farsi! We also read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen; The History of Love by Nicole Krauss; and Atonement by Ian McEwan.
My thanks, also, to everyone who participated — you came in the cold, you came in the snow, and you came ready to discuss!