South Shore Breaker

Readers get a chance to have their say

- VERNON OICKLE vernonoick­ @Saltwirene­twork Vernon Oickle, the author of 32 books, writes The View From Here column, which appears weekly in the South Shore Breaker.

As regular readers of this column will know, every so often I like to give people this space to have their say, either on something I have written or another topic of their choice. So, here’s some reader feedback.

Dianne Nowe from Bridgwater writes, “I agreed wholeheart­edly with your column about Thanksgivi­ng (published Oct. 4). We get so “busy” that we often forget to count our blessings and being citizens of Canada, we are so fortunate to live in freedom and safety.

“Your column The Good, the bad, the ugly of social media (published Oct. 18) has got me thinking and your article is spot on!

“These days, there is no such thing as just picking up the telephone and calling someone for advice, support or connection­s. I miss that. Because some are putting their opinions out there with no thought to how it will be received or how it will affect others’ opinions of you, you are often judged before anyone even meets you or sees your way of looking at things.

“I have a delightful, growing 10-year-old grandson who is very connected to his games, and he is always excited to show me his latest triumphs or how to play the game; but how I wish we could just sit down and have a one-on-one talk. Too many of us are so phone-oriented that rifts are being caused because we’ve forgotten how to openly discuss topics.

“Have a great day. Looking forward to your next column!”

A reader from Queens County, who asked not to be identified, sent this in response to my Oct. 11 column in which I wrote about the disappeara­nce of youthorien­ted organizati­ons in our communitie­s:

“I read your column every week faithfully. I especially enjoyed the one about the

Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. It is so very true about the fate of those organizati­ons. Very sad!

“I can so relate to the whole situation. I came to Canada when I was 14. Didn’t speak English … suffered from cultural shock coming here from a city with over five million people to little Liverpool of a few thousand. Needless to say, I felt a bit depressed and isolated.

“Then one day, a few of my new girlfriend­s from school asked me to join the Girl Guides and that had changed my life. Being a member of the Girl Guides had taught me so much. It taught me many life skills but above all it taught me how to be a part of a community. To be a part of a community, one needs to be kind, understand­ing, helpful and so much more.

“I think this article is timely, because so many of us are so wrapped up in the modern devices that we have a tendency to forget about how to enjoy all the simple things in life such as visiting our neighbours just to have a cup of tea and chat or to lend a helping hand or walking in the woods and enjoy nature. I can go on and on, but I think you understand what I’m trying to say.

“I just want you to know that by reading your article, it brought back so many wonderful memories from when I was a Girl Guide. Thank you! I hope this article will prompt a few people to consider taking the lead.”

Another reader from Lunenburg County, who also asked that her name not be used, wrote regarding my Nov. 1 column in which I encouraged people to get the flu shot, not only for their own protection but for the health of their loved ones:

“Mr. Oickle, I have never and will never have the flu shot or any of those other socalled preventive vaccinatio­ns pushed by the government, including the COVID shot, and I am 68 years old. I don’t believe anything the government tells us about these medicines.

“Taking a vaccinatio­n for every bug comes along doesn’t seem very smart to me and I will not put any of that “medicine” into my body. Instead, I prefer to let my body take care of itself. I believe in building up natural immunity, but I don’t see how that can happen if you put all this other stuff into your body.

“To each his own. Have a great day.”

When it comes to writing a column of this nature in which I tackle a variety of topics, I think it is vitally important that readers have equal opportunit­y to voice their opinions, so, as I have repeatedly said, I welcome your feedback. Please send your comments to vernonoick­ I look forward to hearing from you.

Open and free dialogue is essential in our democratic society — and that’s the view from here.

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