…of us & them = we…

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At Dunsmuir/Hornby–“Excuse me Sir, are you from here? “How do we get to the heritage area-Gastown & could you tell us why there seem to be SO MANY ‘homeless’ & ‘street’ people around here?!”

So were the words of a quartet of inquiring minds having three days visiting Vancouver from the Philadelphia area before boarding a cruiseship to Alaska…

Telling them the way, was no problem.

Responding to the why…

Let’s just say, at first taken abit aback by the question….thinking, after learning where they were from, perhaps the issue must certainly be more profound there than here….
and finally responding with, “well just beyond the Gastown area where you are heading is the Skid Road capital of Canada, what’s called the Downtown Eastside where poverty, substance abuse & alcoholism, and street problems are at their worst in our country.”

A totally inadequate answer that did nothing to respond to the why of it.

Sadly, it’s a growing problem that’s been here for decades. A startling one to me too, back when first relocating to our city in 1980!

Community & initiative are two words that come to mind.

What could be different if we all tried to act in ways of compassion that truly go contrary to some of our common upbringing?!

By that I mean, things like from a young age being taught–don’t talk to strangers;

Facts of life that have us thinking with an “us and them” mentality;

Somehow failing to recognize the realities of circumstances, that firstly scream trauma, mental illnesses, despair, & isolation that are catalysts to spiralling poverty and its accompaniments.

With some elements of denial or feelings that the problems are so big, I think as individuals, we too often dismissively think we can’t do much about any of it.

Cheers to another “us and them” day that could can and should become “WE”!!

A community–wide- far & near, together- ONE, with abundance and prosperity, joys & peace for ALL.

In it, as June rolls into July, a new month, a new start–How might WE each take some initiative?!…

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