The downtrodden are everywhere

The downtrodden are everywhere

As you walk down the street, you see an older gentleman shuffling along. His steps are no more than 12 centimetres long; his shoulders are slumped and an expression of defeat lines his face.

Nobody pays him any attention.

A young girl, wanting to be called a woman, obviously inebriated, staggers along bumping into almost every post she comes close to. Nobody knows what brought her to this point; moreover, no one wants to approach a drunk.

A man cruises from one car to another reduced to begging for a little cash. People hate it when he approaches them. Coddled by his now deceased mother, he has never been able to come to grips with having to do for himself, and drugs have not helped.

A person in a wheelchair, shabbily dressed, moves slowly and painfully along the sidewalk, barely raising her eyes to look at people passing by, afraid she would be criticized for being in such a state.

The sickness that put her there is not really obvious.

Two children with a young mother and a limping father attend a soup kitchen supper. They try to be upbeat, but employment for a physically handicapped person is hard to find, and minimum wage, part-time work does not put a lot of food on the table.

And so the list goes on; the number of different stories is tied to the number of folks you look at.

That many of these are, in our eyes, obviously downtrodden, goes without saying, but there are many who fit that category who are not apparent at all.

Let me lay out a scenario for you and see if you can relate.

Spurned and sometimes ridiculed by the younger generation, a couple in their senior years struggle to understand the fast-paced changes in our society.

For 50 years, they worked their buns off just to make ends meet, faith having been their only encouragement as they raised their family — only to be rejected by a newly influenced society for their stand. Society passes them by without so much as a thought.

A group of confused students — a captive audience to an education system that does its best to convince them that life really has no purpose other than trying to convince themselves that they are doing well. With no absolutes to hold on to, they can have difficulty making important life choices.

A group of citizens already trying to cope under constant assault by a commercial world trying to extract every penny they have through lustful advertising, as well as dealing with a government that tells them how to think and legislating against any help they require to deal with some choices they made in the past.

So you see, being downtrodden is not limited or restricted to those addicted or on the street.

It goes beyond those who through poor choices have lost everything, and can’t seem to get back up because of a mental condition, or even just extreme discouragement.

So I define downtrodden as anything that leaves a person rejected by the mainstream of society.

What we are seeing is a segment of society, attacked by even their own government, which has been threatened with loss of their seats by lobby groups that push their own agenda. It almost seems as if this country is being legislated into a lifestyle they are uncomfortable with or feel is wrong.

Plus, any challenge to these changes, in some cases, now carries a penalty by law, and that ends freedom of speech.

Until such time as society accepts those who wish to challenge these changes through dialogue, we will always have those among us who feel totally out of place, thereby answering the question: who are the downtrodden?

Chris Salomons is a retired senior citizen with a concern for the downtrodden.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Marcus Golczyk, with Taco Monster, hands food to a customer during Food Truck Drive and Dash in the Westerner Park parking lot in Red Deer Friday afternoon. The drive-thru event will run every Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through June. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff
Food Truck Fridays, Food Truck Drive and Dash return in Red Deer

Red Deerians are able to take in a drive-thru food truck experience… Continue reading

Don and Gloria Moore, of Red Deer, are set to celebrate their 70th anniversary later this month. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer couple to celebrate 70th anniversary

Red Deer couple Don and Gloria Moore are set to celebrate their… Continue reading

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
UPDATE: Central Alberta cafe owner arrested after anti-restriction protest

The owner of a central Alberta cafe, which was the site of… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer now has 911 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault chairs a premiers virtual news conference as premiers John Horgan, B.C., Jason Kenney, Alberta, and Scott Moe, Saskatchewan, are seen onscreen, Thursday, March 4, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Several provinces bring in new restrictions as high COVID-19 case numbers persist

Several provinces are gearing up to tighten public health measures once again… Continue reading

Members of the RCAF take part in a Royal Canadian Air Force change of command ceremony in Ottawa on Friday, May 4, 2018. The Royal Canadian Air Force is hoping Canada will open its doors to military pilots from other countries as it seeks to address a longstanding shortage of experienced aviators. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
RCAF turns to foreign pilots to help with shortage as commercial aviators stay away

OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Air Force is hoping Canada will open… Continue reading

An arrivals and departures information screen is seen at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Halifax on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The chief executive of Atlantic Canada's largest airport is hoping for COVID-19 testing for arriving passengers "sooner rather than later," as an added measure to combat the province's third wave of the virus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Halifax airport CEO hopes for more on-site COVID testing ‘sooner rather than later’

HALIFAX — The chief executive of Atlantic Canada’s largest airport is hoping… Continue reading

Shoppers wear mask as they shop at a nursery & garden shop on Mother's Day weekend during COVID-19 pandemic in Wilmette, Ill., Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Tearful reunions mark second Mother’s Day under pandemic

Last Mother’s Day, they celebrated with bacon and eggs over FaceTime. This… Continue reading

Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet, standing, watches the game during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. The Wild won 5-2. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Tocchet won’t return as coach of Coyotes after 4 seasons

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes and coach Rick Tocchet have mutually… Continue reading

Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella shouts at an official after a fight between Columbus Blue Jackets' s Gavin Bayreuther and Florida Panthers' Sam Bennett during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, April 19, 2021, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Tortorella out after 6 years as Columbus Blue Jackets coach

COLUMBUS, Ohio — John Tortorella is out as coach of the Columbus… Continue reading

A caribou grazes on Baffin Island in a 2008 file photo. A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada's vanishing caribou herds is a step closer after a scientific review panel's approval of a plan to permanently pen some animals and breed them to repopulate other herds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kike Calvo via AP Images
Parks Canada captive caribou breeding proposal gets OK from scientific review panel

JASPER, Alta. — A last-ditch attempt to save some of Canada’s vanishing… Continue reading

The smouldering remains of houses in Slave Lake, Alta., are seen in a May 16, 2011, file photo. The wildfire that is devastating large swaths of the northern Alberta city of Fort McMurray comes just five years after another blaze destroyed 400 buildings and left 2,000 people homeless in Slave Lake, Alberta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Jackson
Ten years later: Five things to know about the Slave Lake wildfire

A wildfire burned about one-third of Slave Lake in northern Alberta in… Continue reading

Most Read