Summerland sure forgot about the Solar & Storage project. Now the talk of the town is systemic racism.
Sadly, much of the emphasis on racism is not about the recent vandalism of the Lekhi property on Hespeler Road, but instead an incident at a locally owned dollar store involving the mayor. (The latter made it into the pages of The Globe & Mail.)
Everyone in Summerland is united with the Lekhi case — it was offensive and the culprits should be punished to the full extent of the law. It would be great if a group of local businesses could offer some form of collective reward for information leading to a conviction.
I will reserve comment on the dollar store affair because it’s received far too much play already and we weren’t invited to be present (apparently, only Black Press.)
Instead, I want to share two personal experiences.
I believe in the 48-hour rule. Whenever you’re upset with someone — especially if that person is important to you — avoid confrontation for a full two days. Statistics prove at least 50% of the time, you won’t even bother to contact the individual. When you do, your head is clear, your thoughts organized and you won’t say something you could later regret.
I also believe in resolving issues through dialogue.
About a decade ago, I helped for two years at a service club. Everyone had the same goal in mind — and that was the frustrating part because it ended there. Everyone’s vision of how to achieve that goal was different, sometimes self-serving.
Everyone was at each other’s throats and most members wanted to include a third party in every argument.
I stood at a general meeting and said, “If I have a problem with Ev (referencing a member who I adored), I’ll go and talk to her. Maybe she has a problem with me. Nine times out of 10, we’ll feel both feel dumb and the next time we see each other, it will be awkward, but it will be resolved and over.”
They thought I was on crack. One-on-one dialogue — no way, no such thing has ever been done before.
I’m sad this issue has been divisive. We can’t sweep racism under the carpet, but at the same time, Summerland needs to be celebrated for what it is — great agricultural land, unique businesses, a welcoming downtown, awesome schools and great people.
Something I always wondered about “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” was when a contestant called a friend, what if the person wasn’t home?
I always wanted someone to say, “Sorry, he’s not here right now,” or “He’s in the washroom, Regis, please call back in a five minutes.”
Also, what guarantees were there someone wasn’t sitting there with a laptop, all set to Google the answer? Could I call my brother and have it prearranged that he’s in the same room with 20 academics?
With Regis Phillbin now gone, the world may never know.
James Miller is managing editor of The Herald. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org