Megantic - Let's focus on what's really important!

Par Beryl Wajsman le 12 juillet 2013

Whenever a tragedy happens, there seems to be a default question. Who's to blame? Though that's critical, might we suggest a new default question. How can we help?

We seem to be mature enough to ask that second question whenever there are tragedies caused by nature's fate. But when tragedies happen through error, we almost need reassurance that something - anything - will be done to avoid it happening again. But there is no assurance of that. That's why the word "accident" is still in the dictionary. 

Clearly we need to know what happened to those brakes; how long was the train left unattended; what happened in the shift change. Was it human error, criminal act or mechanical failure? All that will be determined.

megantic.jpgBut what we do not need are the usual condemnations by special interest groups of the dangers of transporting certain materials. Pipelines also leak. Planes and trucks do crash. What we especially do not need are politicians trying to raise political capital by laying blame on one another for some act, or failure to act, as if something done on the edges of public policy would really have affected anything. Even former Liberal lead Bob Rae had enough of NDP chief Thomas Mulcair's over-reaching.

Our focus right now must be on the families. The human toll and tragedy. We should be asking ourselves how we can help our neighbours rebuild their lives. They need homes, clothes, furniture, the essentials of life.

We should be organizing fundraising activities. Companies should be reviewing their inventories to see what they can spare and ship out there. Individuals should look at their schedules and see if they cam drive out there and volunteer with the aid effort. You can't imagine the effect of a human touch, particularly when it comes from someone who made an effort to be there.

The governments will be there with physical aid. But for the survivors of this tragedy, their spiritual wounds need to be bound up as well as their physical ones. That's where all of us can help. That is our default duty.


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Beryl P. Wajsman

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