The Recovering Farmer

Friday, May 27, 2011

Supporting Others

I came across a couple of articles in the Winnipeg Sun this week. One article upset me while the other provided me with some insight into how people react to calamities in their lives.

First off, the article that was upsetting. The reporter obviously resides within the confines of the perimeter highway. He wrote about how the flood news just was not having an impact in his life. He had nothing to worry about. Life was moving on. His only concern being that the price of kiwis might increase because certain highways were closed so the kiwis would have to be flown in. What a narrow minded, selfish, world view. He went on to talk about the news being repetitious. In essence he was saying blah, blah, blah to the flood. Winnipeg has Duff’s ditch. Who cares. Does he not realize where his food comes from? Does he not understand the plight farmers go through just to provide a cheap food basket? He obviously has no clue what it takes to produce food at the best of times, never mind when mother nature throws us some extra challenges. Enough said before I start ranting. Leave that to Rick Mercer.

The other story was written by the executive director of Siloam Mission in Winnipeg. In the article he gives the reader a better understanding of what people go through when they are in crisis mode. People get pushed past their limits. People cease to function. Then he talks about some people just never recovering from shock and trauma. He talks about people that utilize homeless shelters. He makes the case that, in most cases, people are not there because of addictions or mental illnesses. Rather, somewhere in their lives, for whatever reason, these folks just did not have the ability to cope and, because of that, quit functioning. He goes on to say that that does not mean there is no hope. With the right support systems in place people can, and do, recover to the point where they can again cope with the realities of life. Sometimes they need someone stronger than themselves to walk with them, to support them, as they struggle to regain their own strength.

As flood waters recede and people begin the road to recovery there will be those out there that can use our help. Farmers across the province are, again, facing significant challenges. We are approaching the end of May and fields have been too wet to sow. The forecast is calling for four days of rain. I have talked to farmers who are questioning their very existence. Wondering why. Always thinking, what might have been?

Because of these articles I have been reminded of two important lessons. First of all, we should never be complacent about where our food comes from. We must remain cognizant of farmers who are struggling to put in that crop, produce fruits and vegetables, provide us with meat. That is what I need to survive. Kiwis? Not so much, all though they are good in protein shakes. The second lesson is that I belong to a community. That community is made up of people, people who are friends, neighbors, colleagues. And when one of us hurts, when one of us ceases to cope, or when one of us falls off the rails, the whole community suffers. And regardless of my own state, helping and supporting others benefits the community as well as myself.

I have experienced the benefit of a strong support network. I have had people that walked with me when I was unable to cope. I have also experienced what it means to support others. Even when there were times I felt hopeless the strength found in taking time to help others was incredible. Take the time for self-care and the care of others. Make it a good one.

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