Editorials by Robert Kirwan


We're all in This Together
Let's Use The Community Circle of Support

Let me share a story with you that will introduce the topic of this editorial.

There once was a slave named Androcles who escaped from his master and fled into the forest. As he was wandering about he came upon a lion lying down moaning and groaning. At first he turned to run away, but when he noticed that the lion did not chase him, he turned back and went up to the mighty beast. As Androcles came near, the lion put out his paw, which was all swollen and bleeding. When he looked at the paw he saw a huge thorn which was stuck in it causing all the pain. Androcles pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the lion who was soon able to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog. The lion then took Androcles to his cave and every day brought him meat on which to survive. Shortly afterwards, both Androcles and the lion were captured and the slave was sentenced to be thrown to the lion which had been kept without food for several days. The Emperor and his people came to see the spectacle. Androcles was led out into the middle of the arena. Soon the lion was released from his den and rushed bounding and roaring towards his victim. But as soon as the lion came near to Androcles, he recognized his friend and fawned upon him, licking his hands like a friendly dog. When the Emperor was told the whole story, Androcles was set free and the lion let loose to return to his native forest.

This story has a great deal of significance for us today. Even though there appears to be much prosperity and wealth in the world today, when we look closely at the situation, we see a completely different picture. There are hundreds of people living in Valley East who are living in poverty, and like the lion in the story, are reaching out for help of any kind to pull them out of this desolation. There are also many businesses in Valley East which are struggling to survive in these uncertain economic times. With a recession on the horizon and decreasing sales figures, a lot of local businesses have been forced to reduce staff and cut back drastically in all areas in order to keep their doors open in hope of a better future just around the corner. It is not certain how long they can hang on and they too are reaching out for help to pull them out of despair. Finally, the rest of us find ourselves in the enviable position of having good jobs and steady income, but yet, we too are finding that skyrocketing costs are eating up much of our money, forcing us to cut back on spending and search for cost-saving alternatives. We too are reaching out for help.

In the story, Androcles had just escaped and was wandering the forest without any food, knowing that his freedom could disappear at any time, meaning certain disaster. The lion was hurt and needed someone to help him take away his pain so that he could once again walk the forest with confidence. It was Androcles who made the first move to save the lion. Once the lion recovered, it was the lionís turn to help out Androcles. And in the stadium, the bond between the lion and Androcles stood the ultimate test, resulting in both earning their freedom.

Valley East has a lot in common with the story about the lion and Androcles. Our community is all about businesses and consumers living in harmony in a circle of support. The businesses of Valley East are not looking for customers from Sudbury or the surrounding towns. They are here to provide goods and services to the residents who live in Valley East. 

Consumers who shop locally help keep the businesses viable and healthy by increasing their sales.  As businesses increase their sales, it enables them to expand and put more people to work. 

By reaching out to help each other - that is with residents who are willing to support local businesses and with businesses who are willing to provide local residents with good value for the goods and services purchases - we will all benefit from the power of this Community Circle of Support and move forward into a brighter future with the confidence that we are all in this together. 

Until the next time....


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