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Red Deer Advocate - Letters to the Editor
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Yes, we can all be dragons

The closing of Michener Centre continues to catch our attention as we argue the virtues of either side of this conflict.

It is not my contention around which position bears the greatest merit as I am not sufficiently knowledgeable to make an intelligent choice. My position would be to care for all disadvantaged individuals in our community, those with developmental or with other handicaps. Pretending that the fate of Michener Centre goes either way should not mitigate our compassion towards those needing our help now.

We are given a world of amazing opportunities, too often, in fact. It seems that scores of people crave more and better than they already have. Few people in these days of abundance are contented, but yearn for those possessions that are just out of reach, and are more attractive than the familiar. Are there no boundaries in human behaviour and desire any more? Should we be all chasing after the better, the bigger, the distant greener fields, and what about the people left without any expectations?

If each person financially or physically capable was to discover a path to share a little with someone in need, we would experience a palpable difference. Not only a benefit for our recipient, but also an improvement in our situation. Why is it not possible to become a community of hope and compassion for the numerous who are so disposed, those who are raising children on their own, perhaps even the working poor? We may not be capable of producing a difference on our own, however, as a united group we have the strength to create a change. I do believe that it is impossible to help another soul and not benefit us in this undertaking.

We witness but are unable to document a large number of “hidden” homeless. This constituent element is largely of women, youth and families. We acknowledge that these exist, but are difficult to identify as they avoid the homeless-serving organization.

Our society will need to assess the impact this group has on the influx of new homeless. It may be convenient, but seldom justified in placing the blame on the poor themselves.

We are all dragons, but no, not the fire eating dragons. No, I’m thinking of the dragons on the CBC program the Dragons’ Den. The dragons are individuals who have done well in business. And there are those budding entrepreneurs who maybe have discovered something, or made something, and now they want to march into it full time. So they set off to these dragons and they prepare a proposal, and they’re asking for a sum of money, some type of investment that they can parlay into a larger job. The dragons banter the idea back and forth, and then at the end they decide: are they in or are they out?

So you are all dragons, and here comes your proposal: The impoverished people of this world are making their pitch to us all. These people might put their hope and trust in us; are we prepared to overlook that entirely? Are we all justified in maintaining our decadent lifestyle by insisting that I worked for this and I will not give any away? I believe that no prosperity was made in isolation, we benefitted from others helping us. Our families, our friends, our employers were all colossal factors in the progress in our life. Not everyone had the same opportunities and contacts that guided our lives.

There are several community groups that help those in need such as Women’s Outreach, Food Bank Society, Salvation Army, Christmas Bureau and countless churches and schools. To those who have felt the warm rays of fortune and opportunity shine upon us, now is the time to share at least a bit. We all benefit when we chose to take that next step forward in helping our community members who may not be in a position to adequately care for themselves.

Put your faith in yourself, that the glory of your actions will have been disclosed.

Jesse J. Mlynarski

Red Deer

 
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