A Concerned Parent
Everyone is looking for the silver bullet concerning the recent event here in Montréal. Who or what is to blame and what ‘measures’ can be taken. Inevitably parents and parenting has had some fingers pointed at it. While I feel that there is plenty of contributing factors, I have been introspective in light of that point.
We are a community. This event has shown that someone felt disconnected enough from the community to commit this act. We as a community can change that for others out there and try to prevent others from feeling ostracized. You and I can do it. In our everyday lives. What about that guy in the corner that barely talks to anyone? Yes, maybe he’s a bit strange. But after talking to him, maybe you and he may not feel there is as much of a difference. I’m as guilty as the next guy for keeping to myself, but maybe I should change.
We all live in this great city. This closeness can be uncomfortable at times. Toes can get stepped on. But acts of courtesy go a long way. A smile, a thank you, letting others go first. It’s a fast paced world and we are all rushing to get somewhere. But showing civility begets civility. There will always be others who disrespect, but we cannot propagate that behaviour. It’s a vicious circle.
With so many people we come across in a day, it can be easy to just pass them by. Who are the other people in your apartment building? On your block? What do they do? What do they like? You will enrich both your life and theirs by interaction. Imagine you’re in a small town and not the big city. Would you act differently? I’m going to start saying hello to more people, introducing myself, starting up a conversation.
As a parent, I have taken this as a reminder to continue to be involved in the lives of my kids and to even go the extra mile. Of course knowing your kids and talking to them is self-evident. Along with knowing their schools and teachers. We live busy lives, but time can be found to get even more familiar with the environment surrounding of your kids. Their community. There is always room for doing more. Your involvement benefits not only yourself and your kids, but also other kids and the community in general.