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LETTER: Be proactive in these challenging times

Letter to the editor

To the Editor,

Walking along with friends from the seniors’ Friday morning hiking group, the crisp, sunny Autumn air making out weathered cheeks rosy, sparkling frost and first snow crinkling underfoot, I reflected on the state of the world. In the reality I was presently walking in, I was warm, energetic from a good night’s sleep and a fine breakfast, and happy to be amongst friends. In the reality that had been seeping into my home earlier in the morning via the radio, I was anxious, concerned and deeply saddened by the reports and stories about the devastation in the Lower Mainland. All that flooding caused the seemingly insurmountable difficulties people in other parts of our province were dealing with. Then came the stories about panic buying.

I looked around our group of happy hikers and it occurred to me our group reflected a segment of the population that has encountered and overcome difficulties on many levels in our lives. The key to remaining vital in changing times such as this, for me, is to remain present to my own reality with care and compassion for what others may be experiencing without becoming reactive. To be reactive, such as panic buying or spreading imagined fears, adds fuel to the problem. Reaction causes poor decisions, unnecessary emotional duress and can lead to a sense of helplessness and depression.

To be proactive means gathering information, remaining calm and making choices that help alleviate the situation. After our refreshing hike, I returned home with a fresh brain and looked at the options for helping my neighbours to the south. I know some ESS people frm Clearwater have volunteered in Kamloops. I know some people support by making cash donations to the Red Cross and other agencies that support victims of disasters. I know others spend time simply listening to those who need comfort. Seniors can do their bit by relating how they overcame difficulties in the past. Stories have a powerful transformative quality. Human beings are resourceful and resilient.

Making my decision about how I can help has given me a sense of power in an unsettling and changing time. I encourage everyone to take a close look at how are you are being reactive or proactive. Enjoy the moment you are living in. Listen with compassion to others’ difficulties and make smart decisions about how you can help.

Sandra Holmes


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