“Kindness is just love with its work boots on” – Author Unknown ….
There are so many horrific stories in the news of late: Mass shootings, bombings, robberies, natural disasters, and political rhetoric that is designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator in humanity. It all contributes to increased stress levels.
In my community of Fort McMurray, Alberta many residents continue to struggle with the frustration of dealing with insurance claims and attempting to rebuild their lives. It is a place where people struggle to get back to normal, but the benchmark of “normal” has been drastically changed. For many home is no longer home but a dwelling with four empty walls. It does not feel like home because all the little things that make a place home have been reduced to ash and many of the comforts once enjoyed are not to be had.
I cannot imagine the levels of frustration and stress so many are dealing with, yet for all intents and purposes Fort McMurray’s wildfire is yesterday’s news. There are new horrors to grace the front pages of newspapers and grip public imagination.
However, there are real people behind each newest drama. Real hurt and pain behind the blood and gore. Yesterday, at the library where I work, I greeted a young man and he seemed surprised. “Do you remember me?” he asked. I smiled and answered ‘yes’. I think that is the question on many residents’ minds as they deal with the fallout from the wildfires. Do people remember? The after effects of the wildfire are being deeply felt, and for many, will continue to be for months and years to come.
Kindness and compassion, the hallmarks of Canadians’ initial response are still needed. And not just for the people of Fort McMurray but for every citizen of every town or city visited by violent upheaval – whether man made or otherwise. Kindness and compassion are always needed.