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What is happening to you and I?

Bill FoxBy Bill Fox/Columnist

I find in this world that can sometimes seem crazy, I tend to get more cynical and even more mean-spirited. How about you?

I notice on social media, people calling people stupid, because they don’t agree with our views. You will know by now that I have little good to say about Donald Trump, yet I know of good people who voted him for different reasons. We anti-Trumpers have to be careful and choose our words carefully. While disagreeing with them, we cannot afford to let ourselves be mean-spirited. You never win people over to your way of thinking by insulting them or calling them stupid.

When I was teaching, I was taught very early on that you never call a student stupid. You may admonish them and tell them what they did was foolish or stupid, but as you will find out in time, they themselves were not stupid. I should appreciate this looking back on my school career, where I failed Grade 9 and failed Grade 10. I don’t recall ever being told that I was stupid. Lazy or lacking effort, though, yes.

Recently, an imam told a funeral for three of the six men who died in the mass shooting at the Quebec mosque that the alleged killer is also a victim.

I have great respect for Imam Hussein Guillet, who said someone planted ideas in Alexandre Bissonnette’s head. He said the victims were the dead, the injured, the witnesses, Quebecers and Canadians – but also the accused. According to some reports, Alexandre was bullied terribly in high school and was looked on by many of his peers as being a loner and a chess nerd.

“Alexandre, before being a killer, he was a victim also,” Guillet said. “Before shooting bullets into the heads of his victims, somebody planted ideas, more dangerous than the bullets, in his head.”

May these little stories help you and I today:

Once all the villagers desperately decided to pray for rain.

On the day of prayer all the people gathered together, but only one boy came with an umbrella.

That’s faith.

When you throw babies in the air, they laugh because they know you will catch them.

That’s trust.

Every night we go to bed without any assurance of being alive the next morning, but still we set the alarms to wake up.

That’s hope.

We plan big things for tomorrow, in spite of zero knowledge of the future.

That’s confidence.

We see the world suffering, but still we get married and have children.

That’s love.

On an old man’s shirt was written a sentence: “I am not 80 years old, I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.”

That’s attitude.

I found this little reflection that helps me: I pray that I will do all I can to love others, in spite of their many faults. I pray that as I love, so I will be loved in spite of my many faults as well.

I’m at Bdfox@rogers.com if you want to kindly disagree with something in this column.