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Red Deer Reality Rant #14 - Home, Sweet Home

Hello and thanks for checking out this 14th instalment of Red Deer Reality Rant! It was brought to my attention a couple of Rants ago that this blog wasn’t covering pertinent issues that affect us on a global scale as well as locally. Although this is a blog about Red Deer, I would like to speak about issues that affect other locales. In previous blogs I talked about issues like the rising cost of health food items and fuel. These issues do affect Red Deerians but might seem small in comparison to national, and especially, global problems.

We do have it pretty good here in Red Deer, Alberta, and in all of Canada for a fact. Other parts of the world have problems like war and famine and the non existence or loss of freedom. But that doesn’t mean that Red Deer or the first world in general is a Utopia. Problems like war and famine and lack of freedom do exist, only on a more minute scale. It’s like war, when there’s violence and murder between Canadians, and it’s like a loss of freedom when we lack justice in our courts, and famine? Well there is food aplenty here, but many Canadians don’t have enough to eat.

This is the issue I would like to rant about today, the disparity between people in our part of the world, Canada, Alberta, and here in Red Deer. Of course it could be worse, it can always be worse, but we need to address these issues if we really want to call ourselves the “first world” a free country, successful and prosperous. Yes, I myself am not poverty stricken, but I am not rich either. I am grateful to have a roof over my head, a job, food in the fridge and all of my basic needs taken care of. This is not so for everyone however, and I find myself wondering why.

There are people living in Red Deer who don’t have all of the necessities of life listed above that I have. Some people are missing one of these things, and some several, but there are people who have none of these things trying to survive here in our city. These people are the homeless, and it’s difficult for me to comprehend how homelessness can even exist here. We are all human beings, and everyone deserves to have the necessities of life.

I had mentioned to someone that I am grateful for everything I have and that I have had a lot of help in my lifetime this far. There was someone in the dumpster behind where I live the other night, a young man rummaging through the garbage in the rain, trying to eke out an existence, and I thought, where is the help for him? The person I told this story too thought that maybe I didn’t know the man in the garbage. Maybe he was not a good person. Maybe he had thrown his own life away.

I thought about these things, but it still bothers me to no end. I do not believe that a human being exists on this planet who does not even deserve the basic necessities of life. I agree that maybe there’s some people who are not good, but I believe everyone has the potential for good. Maybe that makes me an idealist, but I can’t conscience people, no matter how different from me, not having even the bare minimum that the average person needs to exist in our society.

Things might be worse in other places on Earth, or other places in Alberta or the rest of Canada, but I think it’s important to face issues in your own locale. There’s a good catch phrase - think globally, act locally which was coined by conservationist Patrick Geddes over a hundred years ago that applies today in many contexts. I believe this is one of those instances. If we start here in Red Deer, there just may be a ripple effect to the betterment of society as a whole.


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