Street Tales: Striving for a modern utopia

On a cloudy Saturday morning, I was driving to the carwash and was driving behind a BMW crossover. At a stop light I was looking at the vehicle and on the back of the car was the word, suh. Not knowing that it might mean something else, from a lot of books I have read, it was what a black slave would call his master or any other white man in the southern United States. So in my thought process, I wondered if the driver of said vehicle wanted to be addressed as such. Which of course made me think of the subjugating of people of different color, religion, race or life choice.

Sort of a different subject I know, but with everything that has been going on in the world today and even in our small city, it is something that can and does affect us all in one form or another. Look at what I’m referring to; the accusations of inappropriate behaviours, the misuse of identifying names, or even just the mistreatment of workers by superiors; the list is growing so large and so fast that we all are taken aback and don’t always know how to respond.

What I am learning out of all these happenings is that there is a real spirit of offence that is travelling faster than a forest fire throughout the entire planet. That many of these complainants have experienced a very real and harmful offence is totally without question. They have a right to be heard and to expect justice but what we should know is what will be the end result of all this kerfuffle. Judgments are obtained without the benefit of the judicial system. Most are being summarily fired from long term positions without due process.

Many of those who come to the kitchen also have experienced a lot of the same things as we hear about on the news every day now. They also felt there was no recourse so they made choices that have left them on the street always looking for a better life.

On the National the other night the question was asked, “When all is said and done, will the world be a better, safer place?” Not wanting to appear negative, the other commentator simply said, “I don’t know.” But in all reality, history tells us no. Man’s inhumanity to man has not changed since the beginning of man. For many, the reasons are clear, but no one wants to hear them. As a matter of fact, the majority of the world aggressively rejects any mention of the reasons. Even those who profess to know are subject to the same faults. Knowing that, is there any reason to continue raising all of these allegations that have bombarded us lately? Personally, I believe there is every reason to bring them up; any improvement in the behaviours of humanity is worth the effort.

One huge barrier that I see needs to change is the teaching by some of the educators in our leading universities. When they teach or express that life has no meaning or purpose, ridiculing those who stand for principles, is it any wonder that their students reject many of the standards they grew up with?

Just take a look at the street and you will see the results. The number of street dwellers and addicts is increasing at an alarming rate, and we are doing little more than putting Band-Aids on the situation. Unless we are willing to look into the history of this modern day phenomenon, we better stock up on Band-aids, because we are not addressing the cause.

We have to stop searching for a modern day utopia and get to the business of true healing. Utopia does not exist, period!

Chris Salomons is the kitchen co-ordinator of Potter’s Hands in Red Deer.

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