Thursday, March 19, 2009

Proper Human Values Still Exist

Last night, I attended the memorial service for the families and victims of Cougar Helicopter Flight 491 that crashed off the coast of Newfoundland on Thursday, March 12th.  17 souls were lost and one survived, still in the hospital as I write this.  Later today, I will be attending the funeral of one of those souls, someone I went to high school with in the late 70s.

The communal expression of grief and the outpouring of love and support from the community and the nation brought me back to similar outpourings of love and support that I witnessed in September of 2001 when so many innocent people were lost and the nation rallied around the families.

For all the topsy turvy stuff going on in this world and as much as we think human values have been subsumed by greed and narcism, at times like this, I am reminded that the human values of loving, sharing, caring, generosity and helping others are alive and well.

The media is highlighting excessive levels of greed, selfishness, apathy and stupidity as the reasons why we are experiencing the crisis that is allegedly undermining every aspect of our lives.  If we use the media as the source of our definition of whether “good human values” (as each person defines them) still exist, the answer is probably no. 

The media’s constant hammering almost implies that the time has come for us to move into the mode of “every man for himself” since government, business and individuals either don’t care, don’t know how to fix it or are in it for themselves.

However, when I witness communities and a nation come together to support each other during times of stress, it is apparent to me that the media’s implied message is way off base.

Our core values are still there – our ability to reach out to others, to share grief, to share love, to help one another overcome challenge and to help each other make our way towards a better future.

It is true that sometimes it looks like those values have disappeared under the crush of life in the 21st century.

However, when we are forced to shrug off the yoke of today’s life pressure, our core values stand tall.

As we face today’s struggles together, let’s not wait for immense pressure to bring out the best in us.

Let’s work harder to show each other that the core human virtues of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness are alive and well.

Let’s convince the media that these virtues are worth highlighting.

If they run out of bad stories but won’t highlight the “good stuff”, maybe they won’t highlight anything at all.  In that case, we’d still be better off.

Last night, Archbishop Martin Currie closed his Homily at the memorial service with a powerful quote from Robert Frost:

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned in life: It goes on." 

It does indeed – let’s make it the best we can with the gifts we have been given.

I am grateful for all of you and the impact you have on the world.

Tag – you’re it – pass the gratitude along.

In service and servanthood.



  1. Thanks Harry. Great reminder of what's truly important. Will make it a point to make that more of my message!

  2. Hey Lorne,

    Many thanks for your kind comment.

    Take care,