While I disagree with the intentions of letter writer Alan Wilson, Dec. 8, and others who are delighting in bashing the homeless and those who choose to help them I have to agree with the headline. “Enough” is right. I’m reminded of an adage oft heard as a child growing up when gossip and negativity were heard regarding another person or groups of persons who represent a visible minority in society. ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’ In addition to, ‘if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.’ ‘A society is judged on how it treats the least among them.’ You get the drift. There are many more sayings that attempt to instil moral guidance. Values training. Compassion training. Respect for the rights of others training and gratitude training for the benefits we do have.
Have you faced adversity in your life? Most people have. Have you come out of it through the availability of social services that offered counselling, skills training, housing, mentoring, or a loving family, a friend, a faith based program or support, etc. That is through human to human communication and accommodation. The human desire of the giving hearts and minds of compassionate, caring, individuals that recognise the value in each living individual without judging their circumstances and then seeks to assist wherever possible in helping each person to participate in society in a positive way that allows them to gain or regain personal control in their lives as best they are able. Over the years we have seen some very positive outcomes in this very newspaper and some of the tragic consequences to individuals and families when help is neither sought, available or rendered.
I have nothing but the highest regard for those who contribute their times, effort, money, goods and services and goodwill to help those in society who have, often through no fault of their own, found themselves on the ‘margins’ of society. Reviled, disrespected as humans, relegated to scorn, shunned, accused of being criminals, treated as mere drains on the purses of beleaguered taxpayers. No thought to the lives that came before they arrived in a particular situation. No compassion for the many people who one day may find themselves struggling to live beyond the resources they have available to them.
I look at the many clubs, organizations, groups, individuals, who look out into the world and see how they support, encourage, counsel, feed, clothe, house, love and share companionship with those among us who need a helping hand. For whatever reason some among us are examples to all of us of the value of caring for those in society who need a hand up no matter how much money they have or do not have in their bank account. In my eyes they hold the higher moral ground and do not have to justify their actions on a balance sheet. As a taxpayer I am gratified if my contribution helps in even a small way to make life better for my fellow man/woman or child. I consider it a Canadian value.
I have noted that City Councillor Julliette Cunningham has been named and blamed and attempted to be shamed in several letters for her unwavering support directed to improving the lives of those within our community who could benefit most from her concerns and interventions. I salute you, and honour your values of caring and sharing for the common good of supporting humanity and I salute those joining you in action or doing similar work. Your hearts are two sizes bigger. Respect to you all. Thank you for all you do. You make the world a better place.