I was recently reminded at council on Tuesday the importance of celebrating each other’s successes. We gave three Awards of Merit to individuals who have achieved national and international recognition. Just as it is important to celebrate each other’s successes, it’s also important to shoulder each other’s burdens.
I don’t know about you but lately everywhere I look I see people who are hurting. People who are grieving, anxious, barely holding on. There have been tragic accidents, marriage breakups, tragedies, illnesses that have finally won. Young and old, death knows no bounds.
But what I have also witnessed through this time is some amazing examples of strength and compassion. I have recently heard stories, often through tears, of how grandchildren have rallied around their grandfather during the recent loss of his wife. Of how a person, chose to sleep by the bedside of her dying friend because she was afraid of being alone. A story of how an abundance of compassion and generosity surrounded a family during their darkest time and how this helped them walk through a very difficult time. I have witnessed an inner strength grow and surpass shock and anger and help to forge a way forward.
When we are able to slow down enough to see, to embrace, to support those around us we realize that we can make a difference. It might not seem like much, but we will never know how that timely embrace, encouraging word, or that shoulder to cry on was a lifeline to those left behind.
In times of uncertainty we need hope, now more than ever. How we choose to walk with those who are hurting defines us as a people and as a community. Once again Williams Lake has risen to the occasion, and for that I am truly grateful.
Kerry Cook is the mayor of Williams Lake.