Musings —12.02.2015 08:08 AM—
Two things preyed on my mind, last night. One was news accounts like this one, describing what Syrian refugees are presently experiencing:
As winter closes in, and temperatures dip into the single digits, the refugees will be cold, hungry and prey to disease. Recently the World Food Program was forced to cut back on food vouchers. That and other cuts left mothers giving up meals to feed their kids, refugees begging in the streets and kids being pulled out of school. In desperation, people are fleeing to Europe, fuelling a crisis there. But many more are stuck, facing another winter of privation.
And then there was this:
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday night because the deal — the largest ever for a pitcher — is pending a physical. It is expected to be announced on Friday, the person told the AP.
Son Three and I debated – or at least discussed – this juxtaposition this morning, on the way in, listening to CBC’s Metro Morning. He’s a bit of a jock, my son, so he was able to delineate the two worlds. The baseball player world, and the Syrian refugee world.
I can’t, and I couldn’t. And don’t get me wrong: like everyone else, I had heard Price was a great addition to the Jays’ late-season roster, that he was a team leader, that he was an inspiration in the locker room, and so on. As a Red Sox fan, I’m happy to see them become a contender.
But $217 million U.S. – nearly $300 million Canadian? Seriously?
I don’t know how many Syrian refugees $300 million would sponsor, but it’s obviously a lot. And, as I said to Son Three, what angers me – what truly sickens me – is not David Price. What disgusts me are the choices we make, as a society. It’s insane: nearly $300 million to play a kids’ game, a few months out of the year. While millions of actual kids are living worse than stray dogs, over in the Middle East, year after year.
I know, I know: I’m making a false comparison. They’re different things. Apples and oranges. But that’s not how I look at the political and personal choices we make. To me, they’re always connected. They say something about us.
Anyway, you get my point (I hope). This morning we wrote a big cheque out to the good folks at Jewish Immigration Aid Services, to assist them in their noble effort to sponsor Syrian refugee families. I was connected with them by my friend Gary Gladstone. (And, to me, it is worth noting that one of the most enthusiastic supporters of Muslim Syrian refugees is a group of Jewish Canadian citizens.)
We can’t undo the David Price deal, I suppose, but we can make a different choices.
Among other things, it’s the only way to remain sane.