Saying sorry when you hurt somebody

Salmon Arm
Salmon Arm's Shaw Centre is in the running for a $100,000 prize in the Kraft Hockeyville contest.
— image credit: Lachlan Labere/Observer

My suggestion that our community give $50,000 to Sylvan Lake, if we win $100,000 in the Hockeyville competition has generated a lot of response and struck a nerve.

I wanted people to share their thoughts and invited that in the previous column. I appreciate all of the people who took the time, whether they agree with my position or not, to take part in what I believe to be a compelling and valuable community discussion. It is my personal opinion that sharing part of our potential winnings would be a kind, generous thing to do for a community which has had a great loss with the roof collapsing on one of their two ice sheets. I was interested in what people thought of the idea.

I do not expect everyone to agree with me and I accept any and all critiques of my viewpoint. As citizens have pointed out, there are many compelling reasons why Salmon Arm should keep our winnings, not the least of which is that the Hockeyville competition rules and regulations may legally prevent us from such a gesture.

This idea came from my heart and from the knowledge that Salmon Arm is a truly wonderful community where people step up to help others.

As Robert Fulghum put in his book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, number one was: Share everything.

That is a value I hold true and am trying to instill in my own children, two of whom are kindergarteners themselves.

But Fulghum also has another item on his list – number seven, which is: Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

I owe an apology to the people in this community who would be tasked with making the decision about how the money would be used. My idea could put them in the position of looking greedy if they do not now share. These are not selfish people, they are honourable community members who deserve  respect and admiration. Their reasons are valid and they have the community’s interests at heart.

As well, some of the discussion has dissolved into a debate about how much money the people of Sylvan Lake make or whether they should have shovelled their arena’s roof better. There have been some nasty, personal things said. It has caused some bad feelings and this was not my intention. My hope was that this would build spirit between our two communities and focus on helping others, much as we would appreciate help getting our kids back on the ice if Salmon Arm was in the same situation as Sylvan Lake.

There has been much good that has come out of this discussion and I am heartened by how many people from Salmon Arm, Sylvan Lake and other places have respectfully expressed their feelings.

Regardless of who wins Hockeyville, I am comforted by the fact that the true Canadian spirit of giving, caring and sharing is alive and well.

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