Kind of a Funny Start to a Serious Blog

 The other day my mom was in town to promote her books series, “The Other Side Series” and I was on my way to see her at McNalley Robinson here in Saskatoon when I stopped off at Tim Hortons on 8th Street. There were 3 people in electric wheelchairs trying to get into the entrance. I stopped to open the first door and it was quite the spectacle. We were all laughing by the end as there are 2 doors that can open with the button and I, and the first man in the wheelchair who we finally got through the first door, hit the wrong one at least twice each which would hit the 2nd person coming through…you can imagine this took a few minutes. There were about 5 people sitting near the door watching this all and seeing that I couldn’t get the 2nd door open while holding the first and not ONE got up to offer assistance. Seriously!? I commented to the first man about people getting off their arses to help as we had kind of built a rapport by the end of this and he just shook his head and said he was used to it. I wondered if people are reluctant to help people with handicaps as they think it could be taken the wrong way? I ask if they would like help when I see they could use help and have very rarely been turned away.

Then I had to stop off to pick up my dad from Superstore on 8th Street and a lady had too many items in her hand and was dropping things. I saw this, also saw the 10+ people watching her, and stepped out of line to give her a hand. She was so grateful and again, we had a laugh, but I was disappointed that no one else could be bothered to help. At least no one tried to step in my spot in line!

These are the 2 back to back events that triggered my awareness of how less likely people are to lift a hand to help now than I think they were even a few years ago. Is it because of our changing population? Or is it our laziness and lack of compassion as a society?  Or is it just a coincidence? I’m not sure, but I do know that I was brought up to help people in need no matter who they are or what their situation is and I thank my parents for that.

 I have been noticing a lack of compassion and willingness to help lately in Saskatoon and was wondering if it was just my imagination or are we getting to be as bad as other places? After reading this article about a Regina man left to drown while his friend desperately tried to find someone to help my suspicions were confirmed.

Reading the sad story about an aboriginal man in Regina who couldn’t even get someone to call 911 to help his drowning friend almost makes me sick. Thank you Lani Elliott for calling 911, unfortunately she came along about 30 minutes too late and his friend had drowned. It is a phone call and, whether you believe someone or not, if someone is asking for help and asking you to call 911, who wouldn’t do it?? Let the police sort it out if it isn’t true but why take the risk? That guilt is hard to live with and I would imagine the people that know he was asking for help are now feeling pretty bad about their decision. If the man had been a clean cut caucasion man you know the call would have been made…instantly.

So what is becoming of the people of Saskatchewan? We used to be infamous for our friendliness but I see that changing. I hope to hear more good samaratin type stories soon as I do know that the media likes to focus on the negative but when I see evidence with my own experiences I don’t know what can be done. It starts with each individual and the whole ‘pay it forward’ attitude needs to grow.

As a real estate agent in Saskatoon I want to go that extra mile whether it be in my career with my Saskatoon real estate clients or just with the general public and lend a hand when I have one to lend. I don’t have a lot of spare time to be part of boards and I only volunteer with one group on a regular basis but I think it is the day to day things that we do that don’t get recognition that people are less likely to do if they are always looking for a reward or recognition. So do some people just volunteer with groups as it looks good on paper and on a resume and for bragging rights or do those same people also help just because that is the type of people they are? There are a lot of people out there volunteering in day to day life, whether it be holding a door, helping someone with their bags, or giving them a hand crossing the street so next time you see someone in need of a bit of help I hope that you offer.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

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