Re: Passionate about compassion, Oct. 4 letters.
I find it quite interesting – ironic, actually – that all of the letter writers who wrote in to chastise Susan Pichette’s opinion and viewpoint (He’s allowed to ruin our view, Sept. 27 letters) are also the same ones screaming the loudest in defense of the human rights of some questionable character who took up residence on our streets of this, “Our City by the Sea.”
Pichette has her right to live peacefully, without intimidation, without filth, just as I do. How come our viewpoints and thoughts aren’t deemed as fundamental rights – or aren’t seen to be quite as valid or important?
How come Ryan or George or Spike – or whatever his name is – how come he is garnering so much support and is seen as ‘more equal’ or more deserving in society?
By the way, I do not know Susan Pichette, but I have experienced “the gentle hobo,” and I suspect I would much rather have Susan as my neighbour than him.
Sandra Cooper, White Rock
• • •
After reading Susan Pichette’s letter, I was instantly overcome with a desire to get my own opinion out to the public, as well – that every human has worth and deserves respect.
Some of my friends and I went to the park that Ryan inhabited until recently, with signs that voiced various statements about what we thought. We met a lot of opposition from the people who lived in the same area as Pichette. It was surprising and saddening.
We then went to Johnston Road, still holding the signs. We saw far more support, but there were still individuals who shook their heads at us or yelled from their cars.
The main argument that was thrown at us was, ‘Well, he really did smell awful!’ And yet, a man who was certainly not ‘homeless,’ stopped to talk to us – he had quite a strong odor about him. Does this mean that his opinion is any less valid? No. To have the base of an argument be ‘he smelled’ is like saying that if somebody were to stop taking showers, it would be acceptable for them to be denied basic human rights.
I find it horrifying we live in an age when money and views have become more important than a human.
Meadow Spurr, White Rock
• • •
I totally agree with Susan Pichette’s letter regarding the homeless man in White Rock.
I can’t believe the sickly sweet, leftist psychobabble I have read in response to her letter. Well, actually, I can.
Everyone is going on and on about how they help him. Well, you’re not doing such a great job because he’s still living on the street.
Some of you say he is gentle and educated, has a mental disability or a brain injury – who knows for sure? One day, he told me his name is “Spike Dice-Dice Spike” and that he has a chip implanted in his brain and is being tracked by the government. This I find to be scary!
He told my neighbour he was a millionaire and owned the park he was sleeping in; that he donated it to the city.
Who knows what he is capable of? He seems delusional to me, which can mean unpredictable at best! Sure, it is to be pitied and not scorned but, still, don’t I have rights?
I find it unsettling when I attempt to wait at a bus stop that he sprawls upon, while he picks at his open sores and smokes his cigarettes. It is disgusting. He smells and does not pay property taxes like I, and many of you, do. He does not contribute to society in the least. I do not like his presence here. I am sure he’s a great guy, someone’s son. But, still, I have rights, too. We all do.
Everyone is so quick to tout the rights and compassion of this man and to state that the initial letter-writer has no empathy or compassion. Man, you’re quick to demonize her for her opinion, which she has a right to.
I have empathy and compassion for all living things – to a point. There are many places he can go for assistance. He has made the choice not to. If you think he’s so wonderful, so gentle, invite him into your home, put a tent in your yard and offer him up your shower.
We’ll see how far your compassion goes then!
Frank Hutchinson, White Rock
• • •
“There go I but for the grace of God.”
Audrey Strong, White Rock
• • •
Thank you to the editor for making a heading that made me look bad, as it was out of context and had nothing really to do with the problem I wrote about.
Many thanks to the people who called me and thanked me for opening up a problem that needs to be addressed. I am aware he has been around for 25 years, as I have lived in the area longer than that.
Shame on all you people who have been aware of the situation for so long and have done nothing at all.
If he is brain-damaged and mentally ill, how can he be aware that he is entitled to a warm bed, a bathroom with a shower, hot meals and treatment for his illness? He has got alternatives, but apparently he refuses help.
Try picking up the phone, Patricia, and see if anything happens. It won’t; I’ve tried. Michelle can come and pick him up to go live on her block, but he won’t go. Has Bernice seen him go to the bathroom behind the bakery? Does Judi know if he pays taxes like everyone else?
So to all the ‘compassionate’ people who know him, why have you not helped him when it is obvious he needs help? There is no kindness to leave him there.
Up to now he has lived around Johnston Road in front of stores and restaurants who can’t complain publicly as they would lose a lot of business to the naysayers.
I do feel badly for him, but it “takes a village” to help him. So now that I have openly talked about it, maybe he will get a life that he deserves.
Susan Pichette, White Rock