Monday, December 30, 2013

Pain is relative

Story 1

A potentially live power line lying mere inches from his car prevented him from getting to the office outside Toronto this past week.

Sniderman said if nothing happens soon, he’ll likely have to pay for a rental car to get to his job in Markham, which would take over an hour and a half by public transit.

 Story 2

Holding spent a week in darkness. The days blurred into nights and the nights dropped below zero. Holding cloistered herself in bed, crying between sleeps and trying her best to stave off morbid thoughts.

 The 39-year-old is largely immobile due to multiple sclerosis, and the scooter she uses outdoors froze in her shed on Dec. 21, the storm’s first day. (A neighbour helped her push it back in, where it became even more useless as it lost its charge.)

Not sure if you guys can get into the full stories cause the Toronto Star's website has somewhat restricted access but I thought these two icestorm related stories were interesting.

And no I'm not trying to be overly judgmental ( emphasis on trying) here but maybe the Star was trying to subtly get us to think about and compare the effects of the storm on different people or maybe its just coincidence that both stories were published the same day.

Story 1 is a complaint from a gentleman who is unable to get to work due to the storm leaving a potentially live wire near his vehicle. Is this a valid concern? Why yes it is but when compared to Story 2, it just gives one pause as to how much sympathy one can muster.

Story 2 is about a lady in Scarborough with multiple Sclerosis who was forced to stick it out in her basement apartment with no heat and power for about 6 days.

Now each of them has a valid complaint cause their lives have been affected but when one reads one story after the other you just feel like in the scheme of things maybe Story 1 is a bit of nitpicking given what the lady is story 2 endured as well as what a lot of the rest of us endured over the course of the storm.

In story 1, the guy complains that taking public transit to work will take him too long. On a personal note, it takes me over an hour and 15 minutes to get to work on a good day so again an hour on half on transit for a few days while the live wire situation gets solved I really don't see what the problem is. Its not like its permanent situation. An inconvenience yes but we've all been inconvenienced by this weather situation over the past week so just accept it and all will work out in the end.

Still I was thinking well what if the guys livelihood is threatened by not being able to get to work? Oh wait looks like he can work from home. Oh but wait! Boo hoo his heat is on but his internet is down, what a calamity! Am I being mean by sneering at what to him are legitimate concerns?

But the lady in the second story really had it tough all things considered. When I consider her to what we endured I can say that we left home after day 1 and when we returned on day 3 to me the house was an icebox. I took my shoes off and was inside for about 15 minutes and it took about 2 hrs for my feet to warm back up afterwards. I was certain I had frostbite. So comparing that extremely short interlude to spending nigh on 6 days in a basement with no heat I'm surprised they didn't find her an icicle at the end of that period.

Back to Person 1 though, he or his partner as much as admitted that their problems don't compare to the problems facing those still without power so maybe we shouldn't be so harsh. As I see it his story is probably a bit of a squeaky wheel thing: complain, mek nuff noise about the situation and someone will do something about it.

Now I don't know this guy's situation but he does live in Forest Hill which is very upscale (which is also where the rapper Drake grew up so his whole "Started from the bottom" song is utter rot) so to me this could be a case of the rich knowing when to prod and complain in order to get taken care of. The poor, the sick, the needy, their voices on the other hand are too hoarse to be heard over the din of ice falling and power outages and so they suffer in silence, crying and grieving but ultimately accepting their fate is out of their own hands and acknowledging defeat without even a struggle.

Just saying.


VirginiaC said...

Some serious weather to deal with over there.
I was able to read both story links.
Thank goodness the lady had her dog to keep her company. I hope she gets her scooter fixed soon.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Very well done, Star. Two people, two diverse experiences, one can count his lucky stars.

I hope they do a return story to check up on Ms. Holding.