Should I Stay or Should I Go

My dad would get drunk and smack my mom in the face. He’d scream at her, then turn to us kids and tell us to go to bed.

I felt so damned helpless to see her slumped on the floor bleeding. I can still see it in my mind’s eye – it’s something that all the tears in the world can’t wash away.

To this day I cringe at violence, loud voices and confrontation.

Then one day dad hit my mom in front of a real man. The man quickly grabbed my dad’s arm and put him to the ground. Then he began to scream and curse at my father.

I learned a lesson that day: stay and fight or be damned to live in fear.

Bernie Bates Pic_Nov2014
Here’s my question to you; where do you draw the line? What would you do if you were confronted with a scene of violence against a woman? How about a child or an animal?

Would you, as they say: “man up”?

We see it happing every night on the six o’clock news – with film at eleven!

Yet, John Doe turns to Jane, on the couch and sighs. “That’s terrible! Why doesn’t somebody do something?”

I know there is only so much one person can do. Plus, how does one get started? Where do I go, and who has the time anyways?

All good points to consider before you stick your neck out, speak out and stand out from the crowd.

There’s a quote that comes to mind. “First they came for the Jews” – Pastor Niemoller. Mr. Niemoller, didn’t speak up when the Nazis tried to bully the world. He also laments that when the Nazis came for him, there was no one left to speak on his behalf.

While I’m on the subject of notable, historical quotes. I can not forget: “I am Malala.”

Malala was shot in the head, in an attempt silence her crusade for education. Just like Hitler’s Nazis, the ignorant Taliban extremists failed to stop the human spirit.

On the other side of the political coin, we should be just as wary of officials who don’t stand up, put up and who never seem to shut up.

I’d like you to count in your mind how many politicians have come and gone and we still have homeless people. We’re still fighting the prohibition of a weed. And local children are going hungry while your local grocery store is throwing food out.

Do you know why these seemingly chronic problems still exist in such a civilized, modern and rich society, as Canada?

Take for instance the common sense approach to the problem of marijuana.

We could tax the living hell out of it, just like alcohol, cigarets and gas. That simple act would free up police and court time. In turn that would free up space in the prisons that could be turned into shelters for the homeless.

As we all know people get the munches after they’ve smoked a big fat joint. That would put a stop to food wastage. Because you just know a hopped-up pot-head will pay good money for day old donuts.

And here’s the best part, our politicians could cut our taxes!

Don’t laugh. It could happen, if we just stood up and said, “ enough!”




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