I recently heard that Taber needs a Hero. I think that is true. But I’m not holding out for one. There are already many Heroes in our midst, Heroes who are stepping in try to fix a major problem in the community. There are Heroes wise enough, strong enough, courageous enough to help build a bridge between one society and another.
There are Heroes with the ability take a population who have come to us seeking to escape poverty and the increasingly violent and threatening atmosphere of Mexico, a population that would be considered by most Canadians to not be culturally part of “this day and age” and lead them across that bridge, without losing their identity, to join the 21st Century.
Such a Hero’s quest has begun by convincing parents to first prepare their little ones for kindergarten, to read to them, sing to them, play games with them and then follow through and allow their children to get more than a sixth grade education. Our Heroes work to try to help families with migrant life styles find ways to ensure their children’s education is consistent as they get shuffled from community to community, country to country. Our Heroes are courageous as they fight against habit and entrenched customs to find ways for these children to grow and develop by participating in band, football, basketball, volleyball, badminton, debate teams, science teams, chess clubs, service youth groups or 4H Clubs.
These Heroes assist children from this group, who are amazing artists, find avenues to express their talents. Taber has Heroes whose powers include the ability to convince families that children should only go to work when it is actually legal for them to do so (instead of being forced to work or stay home to babysit once they are in Grade 6). These WonderKind strive to ensure that employment never get in the way of education and that youths need to be empowered by being allowed to actually keep the money they have earned instead of handing it over to parents. These Heroes find a way to include children in their religion’s worship services so that these youngsters grow up gaining an understanding of the beauty of their pacifist religion and their culture. Such Heroes realize that when teenagers get together in unruly drunken groups of up to 200 overtaking the local parks, WalMart parking lots, the Civic Centre parking lots, or driving over peoples lawns in their pick up trucks, it is not truly a celebration of their religion or culture. Heroes have the wisdom to know this behavior is symptomatic of a deeper issue.
There is an alienated generation in Taber, they need Heroes. As Canadians we want to welcome all who are fleeing poverty and unsafe living conditions but the social institutions trying to deal with these growing pains in Taber and the surrounding communities are being stretched beyond capacity.
Taber already has Heroes. Hero Pastors overseeing their flocks, who are vigilant in understanding and teaching the actual truths of their religion, are finding ways to both institute educational opportunities with certified teachers, and actively engage their youth in worthy causes. There are Hero parents who educate themselves and allow their children the same right, parents who know, care and do something about what their teenagers are up to. There are Hero business community members who realize hiring these kids during school hours is shameful and Hero governments who step in and levy hefty fines against those business still involved in the archaic act of perpetuating child labor in Canada. We have Hero young people who take responsibility for who they are and what they do. We have Heroes on both sides of the bridge who try to understand one another and lend support and encouragement.
We have Hero Community Leaders in Taber who saw a need to restate the bylaws that they and most other communities already have on their books. We have Hero law enforcement who have the wisdom and courage to step in when needed. Taber is full of Heroes who understand that our nation maintains its democracy and security by ensuring that one group’s rights to freedom of expression and assembly do not supersede the right to safety and security of others.
If Kevin Bacon wants to come join those in Taber, fresh from the fight, he is welcome.
LINDA PALMER NIELSEN