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FRANKLY SPEAKING: Rising out of the ashes

I call them the Phoenix stories, the good news items which often arise from tragedies. There were two of them recently that unfortunately caused much controversy they should not have.

The first happened in Toronto where a young teenager was caught shoplifting. He was trying to take some dress clothes. When the police arrived to investigate, the attending officer determined that the young man needed the clothes for an upcoming job interview and was desperate to get that job and improve his life. The officer used his discretion and let the boy off. But then he went beyond the call of duty and paid for the clothes himself and gave them to the boy.
The outrage was swift and harsh. That only teaches the boy he can take what he needs whenever he wants they decried.
The boy got the job by the way and I doubt you'll ever see him in trouble again because of the actions of that officer. But that won't matter to the critics.
The second involved a rather serious motor vehicle accident which resulted in injuries to a couple of people. A dog in one of the vehicles became scared and ran away. Fortunately a young girl nearby rescued the dog and reunited it with its owner.
A local reporter at the scene was about to take the girl's picture and get her story when told he shouldn't be taking pictures of the accident. That wasn't the focus of the picture, but again the outcry was fast and nasty.
From both these instances came stories of good arising out of bad, stories that should be celebrated, not criticized!
But it seems so many people just can't get past the cloud to find the silver lining.

Frank Likely is a retired Anglican minister and past president of the Springhill and Area Chamber of Commerce.

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