Optimism and hope
Kamloops, British Columbia - Wednesday, August 25, 2010 by: Michael Townsend

I am writing in response the article ' Canadians expect and deserve more from their government' and Kevin McIntyre's response to it; 'I disagree and Canadians do expect more from their government.'

When I was in Sturgis, having the time of my life with like minded freedom seeking bikers, I was struck by something when I returned home. Odd that it never occurred until I came home, but better late than never.

Of the close to 400,000 people that were in
Sturgis for Biker Week during the five days I was there, I may have seen 6 or 7 Black Bikers, maybe 5 or 6 North American Indian Bikers and perhaps a few hundred Latino Bikers. The mass was made up of White Bikers from all over North America and around the world.  I felt very much at home in this crowd as most were there for the same purpose; see and talk about bikes, specifically the Harley, new innovations, and radical rides. After the seeing and talking was over for the day, then it was time to celebrate with rock music and beer. Now I have never been in a crowd of 120,000 people before but I felt at home with almost everyone I bumped into, and in a crowd like this, bumping is mandatory. Conversation came easy and acceptance was a given.

But this is not a real modern society. The world is not like this. In the real world we constantly encounter people of different race, creed and colour. And as Canadians, we have learned to adapt, accept and learn from the differences of others. I love this about us and the rest of the world respects us for it. 

When I was in
Ireland recently, I had to work a little to fit in. But with an Irish heritage, it was a labour of love. As the world shrinks, and the rest of the world comes knocking at our door, whether legal or illegal, on a struggling, barely floating boat or with a first class airline ticket; I don't think it is going to be easy. For me it is not going to be the Sturgis or even the Irish experience. If I am to move into the future with optimism and hope, fear of the rest of the world has no place. Treating others as just the human beings they are, treating them with a little human kindness, can be the only way I can move forward.