Trap­pings of suc­cess LET­TER TO ED­I­TOR

Seaway News - - Opinion -

Dear Ed­i­tor, If you didn’t have enough food for each plate at the fam­ily’s kitchen ta­ble, wouldn’t it be reck­less to head out and drop your wal­let on a con­cert or show? Yet this is what pro­po­nents of a multi-mil­lion dol­lar arts and cul­ture cen­tre would coun­sel us to do.

The Corn­wall Agape Cen­tre serves one meal each day to 165 peo­ple. Some 600 fam­i­lies use their food bank each month and the St. Vin­cent de Paul at St. Fran­cis Parish as­sists 400 fam­i­lies each month. (S-F, Com­mu­nity Ed­i­to­rial Board, July 27, 2018). This is but a small sam­ple, sug­gest­ing that those num­bers and more also strug­gle to keep a de­cent roof over their heads.

These are men, women, and chil­dren within our com­mu­nity – our fam­i­lies. The dire straits in which many Corn­wall fam­i­lies find them­selves, and the city’s de­clin­ing econ­omy, will not be fixed by a rib fes­ti­val here and a venue for soirées there.

Corn­wall city coun­cil­lors, both cur­rent and hope­ful, need to rec­og­nize that needs are a pri­or­ity over wants and per­sonal grat­i­fi­ca­tion (Abra­ham Maslow, “A The­ory of Hu­man Mo­ti­va­tion,” Psy­cho­log­i­cal Re­view 50 (1943): 370-396). Rather than try­ing to buy the trap­pings of a suc­cess­ful com­mu­nity, we can re­al­ize our po­ten­tial by first es­tab­lish­ing a foun­da­tion that en­sures well-be­ing, and in­vest in­stead in the so­cial and eco­nomic in­fra­struc­ture of roads, sewer and wa­ter, tran­sit, in­ter­net/wifi, jobs, day­care, af­ford­able hous­ing, pub­lic safety, ac­cess to health ser­vices, and green pub­lic space. Our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives are ex­pected to put and keep our house in or­der, not un­der­mine it with vain pur­suits ahead of real and present needs – the needs of the “fam­ily” they’ve been given the duty and hon­our to serve.

Yours sin­cerely, Jim Mar­shall

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