Privileged upbringing clouds our empathy

Dear Editor,

Andre Carrel, in his Terrace Standard Guest Comment (Jan. 18), was very polite in his excellent piece about the soup kitchen. He said that the story is an example of the conflict between selfishness and selflessness. I will call a spade a spade: the conflict is between greed and kindness. The issue might be about money – denying a free-food supplier tax exemption – but it’s really about people, our neighbours, our community.

When from a privileged upbringing, like me, it is difficult to understand. We have questions like: How can they not have a place to live? Why doesn’t he just get a job? Why doesn’t she eat proper food? There are valid reasons for all those situations that the privileged often don’t get. Our city council doesn’t get it. (I commend the councillors who voted against this tax decision.) Council chooses to see the issue as business is business. But the denial of [full] tax exemption is really preventing volunteers from assisting less-privileged people through one basic need – food. Greed is what got Donald Trump elected by voters who don’t want to share what they have. Is that the legacy this council will be proud to hand down?

Ann Kantakis

Terrace, B.C.

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