Think Charity Isn’t Enough? Go Soak Your Head!

Dave Killion — October 31, 2010

It is a beautiful, sunny October day here in Victoria, and I am enjoying it in the same way I enjoy almost every beautiful day in Victoria: indoors, reading and writing on my laptop.  Today is a little different because I’m at Saanich Commonwealth Place, where my youngest is taking part in his first ever swim meet.  Thanks to the wonders of the market, I am able to use my laptop here while I wait between events.  And there are a lot of events.  46, in fact, many with multiple heats.  As pleased as I am to see  literally hundreds of youth participating, I am impressed mostly by the number of volunteers.

They are everywhere.  Timekeepers, coaches, officials, registrars, and managers.  All of them have sacrificed a little piece of their lives because they think that making swim meets happen is important.  So important, in fact, that they have demonstrated by their freely made choice that they would rather be here over all other options.

In and of itself, this is is remarkable.  What’s even more impressive is that there is nothing at all unusual about it.  I’ve seen the same thing at wrestling tourneys, basketball tournaments, spelling bees, school band trips, Cops for Cancer, various ‘Runs’ For The Cure… it just goes on and on and on.  Everywhere and all the time, people act for what they perceive to be the greater good.

Despite this, I’ve had people tell me in all seriousness that if it weren’t for universal health care and government welfare programs, folks would be dying in the streets.  Can they explain why they think that even though there is so much charity in peoples’ hearts that we have swim meets, there isn’t enough that poor people would be protected from disease and starvation?  I don’t think so.  I think they’re all wet.

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