When we combine an awareness of loss and suffering with an optimism that we can make a difference, we can be motivated to take remarkable steps to end the loss and suffering.
Look at the money that has been raised, and the important research that has been done with that money, in our fights against cancer, AIDS and other diseases and medical conditions.
There are the fund raising efforts for those hit by natural disasters, the most recent being the fund raising efforts to help those impacted by the typhoon in the Philippines.
There are countless local examples, one being a group of my friends currently working towards what had seemed by some to be an unreachable goal to raise $50,000 to help out a friend in need.
A keen appreciation of the loss is a necessary motivational ingredient. The light of hope is also necessary.
We are not going to throw our hard earned money, nor our time, at something unless we feel that our contribution will make a difference.
The focus of this column has changed over the years that I have been writing it.
With my continual exposure to the losses caused by road traffic incidents, I am continually reminded of the significance of those losses.
With the growing voice I have had, thanks to the Capital News, I have become increasingly hopeful that my voice can make a difference.
The losses are, indeed, incredible.
A road traffic incident claims a life in British Columbia approximately every day and a half.
Someone is injured in British Columbia, on average, every 6 1/2 minutes.
Many of the injured will never recover.
Those who lose loved ones, of course, never stop feeling that loss.
Apart from the personal losses, the economic losses to British Columbia are staggering, to the tune of upwards of ten billion dollars per year (the assessment was $8.8 billion in a 2007 study).
That’s twice the annual budget of British Columbia’s Ministry of Education, and approximately one-half that of the health ministry.
This Sunday, Nov. 17, is the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
A “day of peace” has been proposed as a global initiative. A day when we combine an awareness of loss and suffering with an optimism that we can make a difference, we can be motivated to take remarkable steps to end the loss and suffering.
The national day of remembrance follows on Wednesday, Nov. 20,.
Mayor Walter Gray has proclaimed that day as the Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims in Kelowna.
Please join me that evening as I lead the second annual Kelowna event commemorating
that day at the Orchard Park Mall parking lot, corner of Dilworth Drive and Highway 97, at 5 p.m.
By gathering together, we can help raise awareness of the losses caused by road traffic incidents and of what each and every one of us can do to contribute to the solution.
This is not a call for donations.
It is a call for action, of respect by and towards all road users; a day on which exceptional care is taken by motorists; a day of courtesy at the wheel and a day when all road laws are respected so that a world day without crashes resulting in injury or death will become a reality.
Paul Hergott is a lawyer at Hergott Law in West Kelowna.