Stand up to be counted

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To the editor,

On a beautiful morning, after getting out at 6:25 a.m. for a 16-km run, I felt so upbeat and alive.

Then, while carb replenishing, I was brought back to earth by the news item that the people of the province (many struggling to put food on their tables) have been faced with continually increasing power bills so that the president of the company can get a 54 per cent raise this past year, giving him a salary in the millions. And then, our home care workers are fighting to get a few more dollars added to their low salaries. Incredulous until one thinks about how this service went from public to private ownership.

It is understandable that such a high percentage of the population are turned off to voting - they feel disenfranchised. Helplessness often leads to a sense of inability to make a change.

Then a friend called and after discussing an environment issue, he mentioned that he had read an interesting quote. "And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world so that you can do what others claim cannot be done," Saint Francis.

 

It brought back the image of a poster I used to display in my office while I was a principal. It showed Garfield looking at Odie sitting up on a limb of a tree. The caption read: "It is amazing what one can do when one does not know that one cannot do it!" I would often bring it to the attention of a student who felt they were not able to handle a particular task.

 

Well, I guess that I have been blessed with enough of that foolishness. I believe that I can make a difference. I do believe that my efforts to protect the environment, to help the underdog, to care about the poor, to expect and insist that our elected officials will have the best interests of the people as their focus, will all help leave a mark for the better.

 

Good governance is a principle, which mandates that those governing do nothing that causes damage to our planet. They must do everything to protect our air, our water and our land. This planet is not our possession. Our planet owns us. We must all learn to look after each other and our planet. This means accepting the concept of distributing wealth.

Recently, I heard a report that 81 people at the top, worldwide, have the control of wealth equal to that of the 3.5 billion at the bottom of the wealth heap. This is just? I think not and I will work in whatever way I can to make life better for even one other person.

To me, salaries of $4 million dollars are not justified when there are people in our province who are living on the street and children going to bed hungry.

I urge everyone to speak out. If enough of us do so, our voices may become loud enough to rise above those of big business interests who seem to forget that their wealth is due to the efforts of their workers more than to their own efforts. Together we can make a huge difference.

 

Jim Harpell

 

Shortts Lake

Geographic location: Saint Francis

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