October 31, 2022- There is always a back story.
As is the case every Halloween, the lines of costumed people, of various ages, spanned both sides of Mount Vernon Street, one of three Prescott neighbourhoods that put on a great display of hospitality. In a nearby service post, two disparate groups of people were gathered: A handful of adults, indulging in alcoholic beverages and a fairly flowing stream of children, most with their parents, picking up bags of chocolate candy and enjoying cookies and punch. For the most part, things went well. An unfortunate confluence of young girls entering the room and the use of foul language from the adjacent area led to a direct appeal to the adults to cub their vulgarity, while children were present. After a brief period of tension, involving protest about First Amendment rights and such, there was an apology, a handshake and mutual recognition of humanity.
It was explained that there were some hard circumstances in one person’s life, which were being shared with a concerned friend. These, strictly among adults, would not be cause for anyone to step in and ask for more polite language. In my world, though, children ought to be spared having to hear profanity, despite the insistence by much of society that “These are only words”. Adults having a hard time in life deserve every bit of support that can be mustered AND care should be used in speaking around children, points I was able to get across, after a fashion. They are not mutually exclusive.
True North does require showing love towards everyone-and working through situations which may initially be tough. That seems to be a theme surfacing quite a bit lately, both in real life events and in entertainment media. We may be at loggerheads, at various times, because priorities don’t always jibe. My priority: The care of, and setting examples for, children and youth, is not as far removed from extending a hand to an adult who has come on hard times, as it sometimes seems. Helping parents, after all, IS looking out for the kids. Defusing the tough situations that arise from a clash of priorities just feels good, besides.
There is always a back story, when someone seems obstinate or hostile. It does not have to end badly, and tonight, it did not.
A happy ending for all! As a nation the tolerance for some despicable behavior has increased and the intolerance toward some groups has increased in proportion. We need more voices of reason – more bridge builders! Thank you for building bridges!!
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I was grateful for the immediate and forceful support I got from others in the group. That caused the other person to re-think his outburst.