Robert’s column

Robert Barron column: It’s nice to know there is still some good out there

reporters and editors can be become pessimistic and jaded

One thing that can always be counted on in the news business is that there never seems to be any shortage of bad news.

It’s no wonder to me sometimes that reporters and editors can be become pessimistic and jaded after spending years covering issues and events that often reflect the worse of humanity.

Just in the past few editions of the Cowichan Valley Citizen, we’ve covered the incident in which some truly disturbed people in a silver car terrorized a care giver and her elderly charge on Cowichan Lake Road, a case of yet another dog being tied up and abandoned to die, and a man with a long history with the police breaking into a home in the area and sexually assaulting one of the occupants.

And that’s just three less then stellar events that occurred in the span of a little more than a week in the Valley, which should be said only has a total population of less than 100,000 people and is not exactly Toronto or some other large urban centre where such behaviour is, or should be, more commonly expected due to the significantly larger populations.

Sometimes, it just makes my head swim and I have to wonder how we have survived so long as a species at all.

Reporting on these types of stories can make one forget that some people really still do exhibit admirable qualities and make you feel good about the human condition.

There was one bright spot that was in our edition on Nov. 6 involving the owner of a store in Shawnigan Lake stepping in to help the veterans at Malahat’s Royal Legion, Branch 134, when someone had the audacity to steal a poppy box from his shop in the run up to Remembrance Day.

Jim Carey, the owner of Mason’s Store and Patio Ltd., said he felt so bad after the theft of the poppy box that he personally donated $100 to the legion branch, his manager gave $20 and his uncle Rick Mason donated another $40 to the annual poppy campaign.

Carey told me his grandfather Pat Mason, who took over the store in 1956, was a veteran of the Second World War who had actually helped build the legion branch many years ago, so he had no qualms in replacing what was stolen.

But legion member Virginia Bauder told me that the box likely only contained no more than $20 when it was stolen, so Carey, his manager and uncle donated way more than what was taken, and I expect they knew that at the time.

Considering the money from the poppy campaign is used mainly to help out local veterans and their families who are in need, I felt that it was an amazingly generous donation to a good cause.

I found it heartening that there are still people out there who are willing to stand up for the people in their communities, and it reminded me of all the volunteer firemen, and similar good citizens, in our communities who sacrifice their time and efforts on an almost daily basis for the people around them.

News people can sometimes get caught up in a cloud of negativity covering our stories, but it’s people like Jim Carey who reminds us that there is still a lot of good in humanity.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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