One of the comments I received was my columns have gotten away from focusing on individuals, and have turned somewhat political.
It is true, but there is a good reason for the change. Over the years, I have come to realize just how much politics influences and affects every one of us. I know that’s a no-brainer, but the results are as varied as the individuals affected.
Over and over, I have stated of all the folks who have left the drug scene, after many years, just about every one of them has repeatedly told me they started their life on drugs with marijuana.
My cynical nature, upon the legalization of pot, immediately thought that of all the sin taxes, the tax on weed would be a great way to bolster government pensions; this in no way benefits normal people.
That more and more will become addicted goes without saying, but no one is ringing alarm bells. That the resulting destruction has no effect on the lawmakers is so blatantly obvious, especially when you consider any day now, they will pass rules allowing THC in vaping devices. As I write this, my blood has reached a boiling point.
When I have been told that through legalization of this crap, the purpose was to protect our children, I see red. The very people who we are protecting are dying from THC-infused vaping oil.
How then can I continue to write about people, when I see our leadership is ignoring what is actually happening to them? The sad part is we keep voting the same harmful people back in.
Of all the people stories I have written, nothing hurts more than to hear about the 13-year-old who aborted her grandfather’s child, or the 16-year-old who is in hospital after attempting suicide because of family abuse.
She is handed a knife by her father to “do it right the next time.”
The souls involved turned to drugs to numb the pain. And now it is legalized? Please, somebody, give me a break.
Still, it is important to tell the stories of these individuals. I tend to feel their pain, sense their hopelessness and try in some way to offer solace and a small degree of comfort.
There are many people, groups and agencies that do this as well with some degree of success, and all of them should be encouraged to continue to do so.
The favourite stories I was able to tell were the ones where through immense struggle and perseverance, some of these beautiful people were able to overcome their addictions, struggles and other adverse things in their lives.
I believe we had a hand in it, but the truth is mostly they, with God’s help, were able to turn their lives around.
That there are so many services for those on the street gives testimony to the fact these efforts demonstrate people’s compassion for their fellow man. More than once, we have heard comments like, “if it hadn’t been for the caring folks in Red Deer, I don’t know where I would be now.”
These would be the stories we want to hear all the time, not those of lost struggles and capitulation to addictions. Those tend to be much uglier and not such a nice read.
All of these stories, good and bad alike, showcase the human condition that we are currently experiencing. The stories that stand out are the ones that reveal, “It’s all about people.”
Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.