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Letter: We need to pick our battles

A Richmond News reader thinks that we need to focus on solving serious problems threatening the well-being of everyone in the world.
Industrial emissions

Dear Editor,

Re: “Protesters mar family-friendly drag queen event in park,” News, July 23.

Even as I abhor the egregious behaviour and attitudes of the two men who disrupted the Drag Queen Storytime, I cannot let such demonstrations of ignorance and stupidity distract me from prioritizing the serious problems that are threatening the well-being of all people across the planet. Hundreds of thousands of people are dying because of climate change and war-induced food and energy shortages, growing doctor and nurse shortfalls, seriously compromised health care programs, and environmental crises that cannot be altered or forestalled. Millions of people are homeless across the globe, mass emigrations are placing immense strain on many countries’ already over-taxed resources, and despots and criminal organizations continue to add to the world’s problems because of their nefarious activities and ambitions.

The problems of the world are so diverse, multi-layered, and complex that our only hope of bringing any degree or order to the growing chaos before our species reaches a point of no return is to prioritize those problems and issues - to make careful, logical, and justifiable decisions as to where it is most important to appropriate our time and energy in the related problem-solving processes. Of course there are acknowledgements, reconciliations, apologies, and compensations that need to be facilitated in relation to past mistakes and sins experienced by various groups, but all of those will become meaningless if other life-threatening crises overwhelm our need to effectively deal with them and the issues that seem so important today become miniscule or even irrelevant within the larger context of a multitude of terrible things that everyone on the planet could face in the future.

While I empathize with and support the initiatives of groups looking for justice and conciliation over past treatments, I would like to see the investment of our precious time and energy appropriately devoted, in priority, to the tasks of finding ways to feed the starving, heal the sick, house the homeless, fix our economies, and protect the natural environment from further degradation. If we don’t logically prioritize the nature and scale of the problems we face within the big picture of what is happening to our world, we might find ourselves eventually unable to deal effectively with even the smallest of those.

Yes, humankind faces a plethora of problems that need to be solved, but let us make logical, educated decisions about how much time, energy, and attention should be devoted to addressing each based on their relative threats to the health and welfare of all of humankind and to the natural environment that sustains us.

Ray Arnold