Calling those trying to act with compassion as ‘Do gooders and non-profits’ draws ire

Drastic and fundamental changes in the way we live and treat each other the only solution

It has been many years since I sent off a letter to the editor of my local paper, but I still read them to hear the viewpoint of people in my community.

Sept. 3, I read the letter from Larry Woodruff and it was a good job I was sitting down when I read it. At first, I was angry that the Courier would publish such a bitter and abusive diatribe. But I am a big believer in “free speech” and if nothing else a newspaper should promote an open dialogue between people of numerous opinions. The trouble is that made it incumbent on me to respond so here I am once again writing to the editor.

I will not take issue with Mr. Woodruff item by item, subject by subject. What I find so offensive is his “tone”, his castigation of everyone who is struggling to deal with the incredibly difficult and painful problems that are plaguing our society as “Do gooders” and “non profits.”

I have no idea how someone trying to act with compassion and empathy and not necessarily solve these problems but just bring some relief and help to those who desperately need it can be viewed as a pariah or a foul blemish in our society. Since when did “non profit” become a dirty word?

Mr. Woodruff claims that – and I quote – “These people are there because they want to be. They do nothing and are given everything.”

He also stated “They (the government, do gooders and non profits) offer millions in free everything convincing many in apartments to leave and get a free life on the street and eventually get a hotel room and, of course, welfare/government money and free food delivered right to them.”

These statements are ludicrous. I have no idea how old Mr. Woodruff is, I have no idea where he lives, but I suspect it is under a rock.

I am 72 years old and by the time I was 25, I lost friends and people I cared deeply for to suicide, overdose and medical problems resulting from substance abuse. These losses have multiplied over the years and they get harder to deal with.

So if Mr. Woodruff knows no one who has suffered in this way and is devoid of compassion and views people who try to alleviate suffering with derision he must be living a very isolated life.

Mr. Woodruff provided no alternatives, just derision. I have no magical answers and I am very aware that these societal problems are having a huge negative impact on the communities in which they are being played out. And I am aware that the current attempts to deal with them are “band aid solutions,” “stop gap measures” that may in the big picture not “cure” anything, but it relieves some of the suffering.

A “cure” will only come about when we make drastic and fundamental changes to the way we live, the way we consume, the way we share the wealth and opportunities and the way we treat each other.

Maybe we could start by being kinder to those “do gooders and non profits” who are trying to help. Choose not to be a “do badder.”

Colin James,

Westholme

addictionsCoronavirusHomelessness

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