February 22nd, 2017

’Tis the season to help the less fortunate


By Lethbridge Herald on December 16, 2016.

Al Beeber
Lethbridge Herald
abeeber@lethbridgeherald.com
Tis the season. Yes, we know. Christmas is upon us and we are bombarded with signs of merriment and advertisements that suggest all is wonderful with the world.
And yes, this can truly be a special time of year.
I, for one, love walking the pups nightly around my neighbourhood, looking at all the spectacular light displays — although I wish Rio dog would quit gnawing on my shoe and Benson would leave tug-of-war with his leash for the backyard.
It’s easy to get into the spirit even when temperatures have plummetted to brutal lows at evening because the joy of the season can cut through the cold. Just like Rio’s fangs cut through shoe leather.
Indeed, the Christmas spirit can be infectious — like my cold which spread throughout the newsroom this week and had me designated as Patient Zero. And with a good life, I certainly have no reason to be sad, except for the demise of my beloved dog-hauling van which my friends at Fountain Tire finally begged me Monday not to spend any more money repairing.
But I know how tough Christmas can be. The last two winters I’ve battled an iron deficiency and a stomach problem which have caused me a lot of anxiety, my relief earlier this year that the Big C was being ruled out lifting me out of a deep funk of worry that had me seriously wondering about my future.
And while my iron is still low and the gastritis still bothers me a bit, now I just worry about my health when Rio the German shepherd grabs my sock and drags me down a flight of stairs when he’s feeling frisky. Or when he starts pulling my leg backwards in front of traffic when I’m on a crosswalk.
And that to me is a reason to celebrate. Five years ago this month, like so many, I lost a parent at Christmas. Death is a difficult thing to deal with any time of year but during the festive season, the loss can feel so much more painful and shocking. It’s a living hell nobody deserves to go through.
This time of year also highlights the extremes we have in society and brings to the forefront the plight of those less fortunate.
It’s why I wholeheartedly support the Lethbridge Herald’s Food for Thought campaign which puts food in the stomachs of hungry students so they can focus on their studies and achieve their potential. Kids are our future and every single one deserves a chance to make something of their lives.
It’s why I try to help other endeavours, putting the odd bill in the Salvation Army kettle and it’s the reason I’ll be dropping off jars of peanut butter at Avail Chartered Accountants down the street to help out their campaign to stock the shelves of the Interfaith Food Bank with a product that can be in short supply.
We all have an obligation to help each other out in one way or another. It’s part of being a human. And at this time of year, we truly need to show our humanity by lending a helping hand to those in need.
If we all do, this world will be a better place for everyone.


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