Monday, December 30, 2013

Refocusing My Mind

It's the eve of New Year's Eve, and I'm thinking and feeling way too much for my own comfort ....

Today, as I waited at my breakfast table for Lucy to come back upstairs from putting the laundry in the washer, I read an email from OCAP.  It said that there was going to be a vigil outside of Loblaws for a homeless man named Richard Ian Kenyon.  Richard died outside of Loblaws on Monday, December 23rd, from exposure.

I wanted to attend the vigil, but it was going to be held at noon and, at 11:45, I was still in my nightgown waiting to eat brunch.  My groin was still bothering me and I had tons of work to do before I went out for the day.  (The pain fluctuations of my groin, between improvement and worsening, has also been affecting my mood.  I swing back and forth between feeling happy and hopeful to despair and depression.)

All of my excuses disgusted me.  People like Richard Ian Kenyon are always overlooked, forgotten.

After I got washed and dressed, I went out to do some errands.  I withdrew money from my bank account, paid my bill at The Printing House, bought a bottle of acidopholus at the health food store, and then treated myself to a double chocolate brownie and a peppermint mocha frappuccino from Starbucks.

On my way home, I stopped outside Loblaws for a few moments.  There were still signs of the vigil left behind.  I marvelled at the fact that, despite the cold and wind, most of the candles from this afternoon were still lit.  I marvelled even more of the pictures carefully arranged, pictures of Richard from about forty years ago.  I saw him as a child, with his family, with his dog. I wondered what path had led him to such an unlucky fate.

I felt a pang of guilt at my entitlement.  Certainly, my life hadn't been exactly a bed of roses, but I'd always had shelter, a bed of my own to sleep in, and food to eat.

I wondered what the owners of Loblaws (the Weston family is one of the richest in Canada) thought about the man who died outside of one of their stores.  Did they think of him at all, or feel any empathy for his fate?

After I wrote my blog yesterday, I thought that a good New Year's resolution for me would be to never again let anyone humiliate me by treating me as a non-person.  I want to amend this statement now and say that, by written word or deed, I will do my best to advocate for other people's rights if they need me too.

In my opinion, this is what a caring, affluent should always strive to do.

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