Thursday, February 4, 2010

Give peace a chance

At this moment in history, Vancouver is host to the 2010 Winter Olympics. On the sidewalk running North to South along Granville, you can find the painted flags of various countries.  Here and there in store front windows you can find anything from a simple Canadian flag to an entire window outfitted with an big Olympic welcome as Vancouver, Canada welcomes the world.

Today I caught the bus to the heart of downtown Vancouver to meet my niece who along with her friends were standing outside Pacific Center shopping mall handing out Burt's Bee's freebies to whoever wanted them.  Inside the mall was a spokesperson for the product line,  an Olympic ice skater along with a long line of folks waiting for an autograph.  My niece related a funny story about one of the girls.  This girl was handing out the free lotion to people walking past, when she saw a man in a wheelchair scuffling down the street towards her.  She didn't think he would appreciate any hand cream but offered up a "good morning" instead.  What happened next  shocked her.  Without stopping he proceeded to tell her to */#**&#!!   Needless to say, she was taken back.  Just down the street in the front store window of a well known store is sign in bright red that states, "what the world needs more of is Canada"    
Tell that to the gal who had just been  greeted with a barrage of profanity.

Now, this isolated incident does in no way represent the entire city of Vancouver, much less the whole of Canada.
But let me draw attention to yet another sign posted in the papered window of a coffee shop recently shut down, unable to pay the rent increase. En route, down one of Vancouver's busiest streets to the festivities.
"A world of friends is a world of peace"
mental calm
freedom from war
freedom from quarrels
a state of friendliness
Ah, there is that word again. These days people are collecting lists of friends making the growing number something to be proud of.
Take a number, get in line folks.
I suppose that I am a tad bit cynical.  And I suppose that you could read whatever you wanted into the phrase but what is it really saying?

If we are all friends then there is peace?
Why can't we just all get along?

Why is it a complete stranger will cuss out someone who has offered a "friendly gesture" in the form of a simple hello?
I am not against having Vancouver host the Olympics. And I add that even if I did have something to say against the event, my thoughts would most likely go unheeded.   But what about those window signs, the sometimes flamboyant  use of slogans to promote an event that will last about a month.
So my question is this?
How friendly will Vancouver continue to be after the event is done and overwith?
And will it make a world of difference?

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