I always find letters to the editor both interesting and amusing and occassionally irritating. And so it is that I feel compelled to add my two cents worth on a topic that has dominated the newspaper as of late.
I have lived long enough to retire from the active workforce, and as such feel that I have experienced enough of life to form some reasonable opinions on how to be civil.
I frequently am visited by religious groups who ring my doorbell and want to discuss their views on religion with me and convert me to their ideas. I understand that this is what they are doing, and I respect their right to their opinions and their enthusiasm about sharing their views.
I listen politely when I have the time (I'm polite even when I don't have the time) thank them for stopping by and sharing, but tell them that I have my own views and that I am content with them. Nobody is insulted and we part on friendly terms.
Over the years I have had occas-sion to visit many people as a guest in their homes. Sometimes I was invited by them and sometimes I initiated the meeting. Most times these visits have been friendly and cordial and sometimes they have been great experiences. Every once in a while I find myself in a home where things happen that make me uncomfortable. You know, the big slobbery dog wants to sit on your lap, the cat has found a new best friend, or the housekeeper only comes once a year and is overdue for a visit.
Anyway, my point is that when I visit someone in their home and I'm not comfortable, I endure until I can leave, thank them for their courtesy and kindness and decline any invitations for future interaction. I'm not insulted that they approach life differently then I do, I simply choose my lifestyle.
I don't even write to the paper (normally), or lobby the government to ask them to go and make somebody change their lifestyle or beliefs because I don't agree with them. As I understand it, Canada is a relatively free country that allows freedom of thought, political views and religion. Is it not that freedom that allows all of us to have choices?
Nov. 11 was Rememberance Day. Out of respect for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy these freedoms, if we find ourselves at odds with a belief or lifestyle, we can choose to decline invitations to join a certain religious group, choose not to join a political party that doesn't reflect our values, or choose not to socialize with folks whose lifestyle choices we don't agree with.
After all, isn't that really why all of us (and our ancestors) came to Canada? We wanted freedom to choose. I fear that if we do not use that freedom to choose and respect each other's freedom to choose, we will lose it.
Dale Coles Harrison Hot Springs
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