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A Holiday Season Message from Doug Draper
Posted December 24th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
I will be taking a few days off now to spend time with members of my families and friends, and to remember all those beloved ones, including some of my family’s furry feline friends, who are no longer here.
I hope you have time to do the same and are trying to do your best to stay free of so much of the stress and depression that can overcome people at this time of the year.
If you have a job where you have to work on key days of the Holiday season, I wish you the very best to and for some downtime that you can spend with members of your family and friends.
I remember the first time I was asked to work on Christmas Day as a reporter, many years ago, at The St. Catharines Standard. There was no one else around at the time, and an editor asked if I would go cover a turkey dinner a group of volunteers in the St. Catharines community were putting on for homeless people.
I’m now ashamed to say that I did a little grumbling about being put on the spot to work that day, but when I went to the church hall where the dinner was being held, I was overcome with the kindness of those who took time away from their Christmas at home to put it on, and I was equally overcome by the gratefulness of those who came in from the cold and gathered around tables for a hot meal.
It turned out to be one of the most memorable Christmas’s I had and it did more than a million walks through a shopping mall this time of year, to manifest the spirit of the season.
So to all of those who work on Christmas Day, many of them in the public sector, at essential jobs in health care and other vital services that can’t go unmanned, the very best to you too during this Holiday Season. And for those of you in Ontario, you deserve a lot more respect than what you are getting from the current provincial government.
Let’s all try to make our Holiday Season and the New Year ahead as earth friendly as possible by conserving energy and other natural resources, and by reducing the amount of waste we generate, especially the waste made out of plastic!
One of the greatest gifts we can give is a healthy, life-sustaining planet for generations to come.
Finally, let’s also try as a society of humans to be nicer to one another.
I received a Happy Holiday Message a few days ago from Enzo De Divitiis, a board director for Pride Niagara, that reads, in part;
“The Holiday season can be an exceptionally lonely and challenging time the LGBT+ community. A brutal reminder for those who are not accepted by members of their family and with whom they may or may not be spending time during the holidays. We ask you to remember those who may not be celebrating the holidays surrounded with that love and remember to share love when and where you can.”
It’s sad that we have to send out reminders to be decent to one another, regardless of whether we are gay or straight, or of our colour, our religion or whatever other differences we may have, but we do.
It has gotten especially ugly in recent years, and it doesn’t help that on both sides of the Canada/U.S. border we have had some leaders who specialize in fear and anger, and on bullying and dividing people in ways that make them the worst kind of role models for children and adults alike.
The bile that is too often spewed forth on Facebook and Twitter – things that most people would never say to each other face to face, that that takes little or no courage to fire over the internet – doesn’t help either.
So let’s all make a pledge to be nicer to one another and to remove from public office and other positions of power those who seek to divide and rule by peddling in fear, intolerance and hate.
Enough of my end-of-the-year sermon.
Happy Holidays and thanks to our many readers for your ongoing visits and support.
We will be back to posting more news and commentary in a few days.
– Doug Draper, journalist. December 24th, 2019
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