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Here’s a little hope

Bill Fox

Bill Foxll

By Bill Fox/Columnist

The second of the 12 “spiritual principles” is hope. Years ago, the late Father Ermanno Bulfon said we should all strive to be “apostles of hope.” I have never forgotten that.

Some people, unfortunately, turn to alcohol and drugs to numb their pain because they have no hope. Many people living on the street cannot see any hope to improve their situations. Welfare recipients, especially, must have hope and programs to improve their situations.

The fact that Premier Ford froze the announced raising of the minimum wage when one might be just living day-to-day makes one lose hope. Meanwhile, the same Ford government gave Ontario’s 28 deputy ministers a 14 per cent raise. We use credit cards with the hope of paying   them off each month. Couples take out mortgages with the hope of meeting payments and improving their situations.

I find there is not enough hope that possibly you, and certainly your children and grandchildren, will ever afford to buy a house in our community or anywhere in the GTA.

I believe the problem is that the rich are getting richer by being allowed to invest in properties and condominiums. I have seen some advertisements for condos   in our area that appeal to their investment potential. I find this possibility to be morally wrong. What about you?

One of my sons once rented a condo in Toronto from a woman who bought five of the apartments as an investment. She did nothing wrong, but I feel someone should only be allowed to own three residences. Owning their principle home, a vacation (cottage) property and one for investment or for their future family, I believe, would allow the housing market prices to drop. I do hope politicians consider clawing back investment property opportunities.

Nick Barber was a long serving elementary school principal in Oshawa, and he once told me something that really made sense. He was talking about faith, hope, and charity. In general and not exclusively, he said we learn charity in the home, faith in our churches, synagogues and temples, and hope we learn in schools.

So what are your hopes? As a grandparent, my hope for your grandchildren and mine revolves around the life and environment I would want our precious grandchildren to have.

I would want them to live in a safe society with less violence. The recent incidents of gun-related crime is very disturbing. I hope the increasing trend is soon reversed before more innocent children are killed. I hope we can reverse the recent climate changes and improve our environment.

The Ontario Lung Association website mentions that 40 per cent of Ontarians have a risk of developing asthma before the age of 40. Asthma currently is the most common chronic disease among children and 317 Canadians are diagnosed with asthma every day.

Being an asthmatic since the age of seven, I hope we see the seriousness of this situation and appreciate the amount of pollutants we take into our bodies with every breath.

If our grandchildren are able, I hope they are given the opportunity to receive an education that will lead to a profession where they can help their fellow Canadians.

To quote Dinah Shore, “There are no hopeless situations, only people who are hopeless about them.”

Dr. Viktor Frankl was an Auschwitz survivor and wrote a book about his life in the camps. In Man’s Search for Meaning he outlines how those who had little hope would succumb to the rigors of war camps earlier than others.

According to Frankl, being slight of build was not a determining factor for survival. He mentioned how one man had a dream that he would be released by a certain date. When   the date came and went, he soon died. It might be said he died because he had lost hope.

Many years ago, people could never fathom that one day mankind would land on the moon.

We never thought we would see the end of the Berlin Wall. On one leg, Terry Fox called his quest to run across Canada, ‘The Marathon of Hope.’

I hope we all believe that the impossible is still possible.

Finally, I hope you will send your comments to