DUDY – First step to community health is everyone being on the same page
By DIETER DUDY
City Councillor, Kamloops
AS WE ENTER the holiday season, we are bombarded with the aspirational phrase of “Peace on Earth, goodwill to all men.”
While I truly believe each and everyone of us would embrace the sentiment, the sad reality is there is a definite division between what we see as idyllic and what faces us each day.
We are a community made up of people from every walk of life, diverse backgrounds, conflicting circumstances and challenging futures. We have professionals, tradespeople, service industry providers, students and those who simply wonder whether they will make it through the day.
We have of late been subject to many calamities, not the least of which is COVID-19.
In this year alone, we have seen the ravages of fire, water, smoke and more. Add to this the pandemic, homelessness, addiction issues, a mental-health pandemic and so on. Yet we prevail, despite all of this.
The problem, however, is that we haven’t come out of this unscathed.
For many of us, these last few years have impacted our well-being, our sense of security and that of our families, our vision of a troubled community and our empathy.
Many of us would regard ourselves as being well-intentioned, reasonable, caring individuals. But for some, that has been replaced by frustration, confusion, helplessness and, unfortunately, vindictiveness. We seem to be struggling with the “Goodwill to all men” part.
Most of us will, despite these difficult times, have a joyous holiday season. We will be with family and we will partake in food, drink and other excesses. We will greet the new year with renewed optimism, with renewed vitality.
Yet, sadly, there are some in our community who struggle from minute to minute, who can only think as far as this afternoon and how they might survive the day.
These people are viewed by some as the dregs of our society, a blight on the community. Some feel all they need to do is pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get on with life.
Were it only so easy.
As City council and, by extension, the City, we look for ways to ease things for our less fortunate members of the community. We attempt, with the help of other governments and agencies, to provide shelter, counselling, programs, meals and more.
We attempt to address their needs while being mindful of the needs of the greater community.
It’s a balancing act, but sometimes things topple and we’re faced with trying a new approach.
The point is we won’t just sweep the lives of many of our citizens under the rug. Sadly, some see this as enabling, but we see it as being human. We see it as a first step toward recovery.
Is it a magic wand? Of course not, but maybe, just maybe, we can make a difference.
The first step in community health is to be on the same page.
We all want the desired outcome. We just need to find a way to make it happen.
Dieter Dudy is a Kamloops councillor. He can be reached at email@example.com. This column was originally published in Kamloops This Week.
Peace on earth, good will toward men. Thanks for the reminder, Dieter.
The act of violence by one person against another at the steel fence enclosure on Kingston Ave would likely never have happened without the anger that was caused when the unsuspecting public was advised of this project.
David and Ken issued a joint statement condemning the violence. Should they perhaps check to see if there are any specks of blood on their own hands?
It would be interesting to look at history to see where deception, deceit or coverup has led to the downfall of governments and leaders.
this is so sad but if left to continue with not being accountable for there actions we will be like lower mainland. 4 daily unprovoked attaches on innocent public daily.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too DD. I can’t agree more than as a society we need to look after the less fortunate and the ones who are truly struggling. My layman impression though is that there is too much vagueness and a scramble to do something while being somewhat blindfolded, if I can use a little figure of speech. Maybe just maybe we are only truly fooling ourselves (while spending a considerable amount of dough in the meantime). And I am not certainly blaming it entirely on the local leadership, in fact the other two higher level of government need to possibly reassess (and reassure us) that their plan is comprehensive and has an end goal. Just my two cents.