Thursday, 14 February 2008

Not to be a cold hearted bastard

But I have a big question about this editorial in the Toronto Sun.

Joe Warmington is getting his panties all in a twist about a city worker failing to be a good Samaritan. The headline says it all "What's the matter with this town when a city worker refuses to help a frail elderly woman shovel her walk?"

Indeed. However, I must ask. What does this woman do every other time it snows? Does the city help her out every other time there's a few inches of snow in her driveway? No? Then how does she remove it then? Obviously she is too frail to shovel snow. Period. End of discussion. The fact that this snowfall was larger than average is not a factor. We had 3 or 4 massive dumps of snow so far this year (never mind years past) so why did this poor lady only need help after this storm?

That point shows the idiocy behind this seemingly innocuous suggstion No matter what the bylaw says, if you are a city employee and you see a 75-year-old woman in this condition, shovelling out the massive windrow at the foot of her driveway, I say go ahead and help her.

How many seniors and people with some form of disability are city staff supposed to help then when, as Joe admits, it's technically not your job and even if it doesn't score you some overtime and the city seems to be in a financial crisis. Quite the open-ended commitment Joe is willing to make for other people isn't it?

The thing about charity is, its about setting a personal example, not telling other people what to do with their time and money. So Joe, how about next time you hear about this, you get some shovels and some salt and contribute to making the city move and operate better on unusual weather days.

Because that's what neighbours in a "City with Heart" do for each other.

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