balbulican says that he doesn't blame the government given the circumstances but:
But I am sickened by the viciousness of the smug, small minded “Canadians” who feel compelled to pass judgement on fellow citizens who are exhausted, terrified, disoriented, and uprooted. I don’t care what your political or religious affiliation is: you don’t help people who are in trouble so that you can bask in their gratitude. You help them because they need help. Their response under extreme stress is irrelevant.
Listen, critics: I understand it’s difficult to have much compassion for people when the toughest thing you’ve had to deal with in your life is a hangnail or a slow internet connection. But at least have the decency to keep your mouths shut and refrain from broadcasting your narrow-minded nastiness to the world. You’re embarassing the Canadians who support the rescue - not for the praise or the thanks - but because it needs to be done for our fellow citizens.I won't speak for Darcey or Peter -- I know they can speak for themselves well enough.
In these two paragraphs, a man who knows nothing of me or my life has accused me of being smug, compassionless, narrow-minded and vicious because I dared suggest that people who were leaving a war zone in a boat and not a bodybag should be grateful -- not to the Canadian people, not to the Canadian government -- but grateful to be alive -- grateful that the fates, providence, God, Allah, good fortune, luck, karma -- conspired to bring about the circumstances that meant they had a place to evacuate to, and a means to do so.
Our government has gone above and beyond the call --as have other governments the world over, but my suggestion that the evacuees should be grateful never even implied that their gratitude should be for the expense, or the time, or the logistics, or the manhours involved in bringing them home -- but rather, just for the very fact of being alive.
Maybe I'm small-minded for thinking that a crowded, stinky boat is better than the coffins that will carry home Al-Akhrass family.
Maybe I'm vicious for thinking that the twenty hours it took to be processed and transported to Cyprus is a better fate than the unknown months of war that face the family and friends many of these evacuees left behind.
Maybe I lack compassion for thinking a person should be grateful for leaving the uncertainty and violence in Lebanon, even if the journey to peace and freedom is slow and bumpy.
There is no smugness in what I've said. I've never been to a country being ravaged by war and I'm already grateful to have been so blessed.
How dare someone say that I'm "embarassing the Canadians who support the rescue" --I'm one of those Canadians who supports the rescue.
Pardon me for thinking that these fortunate Canadians might spare a thought for the family that won't be coming home and for the countless people in Lebanon who don't have the benefit of alternate citizenship.
Sometimes the best way to cope with an unpleasant situation is to remember that someone else has it worse -- that's compassion and it's the first step to gratitude.