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Wednesday, 18 November 2015 15:16

Don’t believe oversensationalistic media: there are still good people out there

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Two slogans I heard often as a child were, “Stop, drop and roll,” and, “Don’t talk to strangers.” Both sayings were meant to keep me safe.


The first in case my clothes caught on fire, the second for more obvious reasons.
I suspect the fear of strangers is spreading in our society. Several causes come to mind, but foremost is what passes for journalism. Certain media outlets pump their audience full of fear by sensationalizing gruesome crimes that ruthless criminals perpetrate on innocent victims they don’t even know. To be fair, some members of the viewing public enjoy titillating themselves and others by telling and retelling the week’s most vicious criminal act. Usually, the person ends by saying, “What’s the world coming to?”
Despite what the media or news mongers would have you believe, there are a lot of good strangers left in the world. The old adage that you shouldn’t talk to strangers simply isn’t true. Here are some examples.
Recently, a buddy of mine told me a story about a road trip he and his friends made when they were in their early 20s. Everything was going fine until their van broke down in Wyoming. They limped the van to a service station where the mechanic said they wouldn’t be going anywhere for at least two days until the part arrived. There happened to be a man in the service station who overheard the mechanic. The man owned a ranch outside of nearby Yellowstone National Park. He offered to let my buddy and his friends stay on the place.
They hesitated, but with nothing better to do they eventually agreed.
Apart from letting them camp on the ranch, the man invited them to fish in the trout stream that weaved through the property and he bought all their meals.
His generosity was the highlight of their road trip.
Another instance of a kind stranger involved a lady named Shelley who I met in Pierre, South Dakota.
She owned a confectionary near a campground where I stayed while canoeing the Missouri River. When Shelley saw me pitching my tent, she asked where I was canoeing. I answered and she assumed I’d need groceries so she said I could use her car for the afternoon and that she didn’t want me to put gas in it because that would insult her.  To be honest, I’d never let a stranger borrow my vehicle, but Shelley isn’t me so she didn’t hesitate. I secretly filled her windshield washer fluid as a thank you.
I could give many more examples, but my space is limited. There is no doubt some strangers are dangerous, but they’re a small minority.
The vast majority are kind, but their acts of simple goodness don’t make the headlines.
Consider this, the stories of the planes that land don’t make the news. We only hear about the ones that don’t.
(Dominique Liboiron is a speaker, author, teacher, journalist and photographer. To raise awareness about heart disease and to honour the life of one of its victims, Liboiron canoed from Saskatchewan to New Orleans. For more info, phone 306-661-8975 or visit www.canoetoneworleans.com.)

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Dominique Liboiron

Dominique Liboiron is a speaker, author, teacher, journalist and photographer. To raise awareness about heart disease and to honour the life of one of its victims, Liboiron canoed from Saskatchewan to New Orleans. He is the first person to undertake that journey. He enjoys outdoor sports such as camping, hunting, fly fishing and canoeing.