The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Sunday, January 09, 2005

A Country of Paradoxes, But What Country Is Not Anyway?

Photo scanned from The Sunday Leader, January 9 issue: The lucky patient number 04-254, a saw-whet owl Posted by Hello

Seldom do I read newspapers, except in rare occasions when a headline catches my interest or attention. Like this morning, the front-page picture and article of The Sunday Leader, which I saw lying on the dining table, caught my awe. The article entitled "Ward of the Wings," reported by Boaz Joseph, begins with the following sentences:

With the help of Anita Taylor, Graham Wedepohl carefully spreads the thin, palm-sized wings of patient number 04-254 on the examination table.

Two wide, yellow eyes stare at their faces, blinking occasionally.

04-245 is a saw-whet owl. It came in with a head injury from a Vancouver animal hospital.

Taylor and Wedepohl are volunteers at the nonprofit Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL), a hospital for birds of prey.

I now understand why health-care workers like physicians, nurses, and caregivers are in high demand here in Canada (and perhaps in any other first-world country); because many people here give a great deal of attention to Health Care. The fact that even birds and snakes are provided medical attention makes one quip: How much more then with human health?

Notwithstanding such display of concern for animal safety and welfare, however, it still baffles me to see so many homeless bums especially in downtown Vancouver and other commercial areas, scavenging garbages and bugging people for a quarter or two. Yes, bums and beggars also exist in such first-world country as Canada; poverty is also a household term. Also, don't ever think that litter and garbage "adorn" the streets of only third-world countries like the Philippines, for, as I already mentioned in a previous article, even in the country where I am, notorious and filthy places may also be found on its map.

Perhaps this is simply another case of a societal paradox, that no country is perfectly clean after all, in every sense of this adjective.

For, Canada is a country where firefighters aboard speeding firetrucks rush to the rescue of a kitten stuck on a tree branch; but, also, where many people ignore a homeless trembling in a corner.

Where I am is where many people flash their affectionate smiles on a stranger walking with a well-groomed pet dog in tow; but, also, where the same people may display a look of condescension or indifference at someone unusual or belonging to a different race.

Here you will see the affluent driving their gorgeous sportscars, as well as the impoverished scavenging the garbage cans for soda bottles and cans with a stolen pushcart in tow.

But in what country such follies and paradoxes are absent anyway?

In the end, the consistency of or the flaw in a personality really depends on the capability of the individual to rise above human nature and tendencies.

I believe that humans are naturally evil, the reason I also believe that the ability to do good and uphold goodness is a really great feat and that this ability is the very essence of humanity.



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