It pays to ask…

This evening, while I was driving my mother and her friend to the theatre, the friend (who lives in our co-op) told me that there were certain people upset over the decorations that had been put up on the co-op office for the “Christmas” season. She stated that the Muslim people in our community, which is about half the population of the co-op, were upset that both Hallowe’en and Christmas decorations had gone up.

As I am on the Board and we have a General Members Meeting coming up, she “wanted to give me a heads-up that there were people who would be bringing the matter up at the meeting”. She said that they were upset about Co-op funding going into Christian decorations on property that was for “everyone’s use”. She said that they had been particularly upset about Hallowe’en but were now “really upset” about the Christmas decorations.

I said to her that if anyone was upset, they had every right to approach the Board and let us know of their feelings. I said that the Board didn’t authorize the decorations and that no co-op money went into buying these decorations. Nor did we know who put up the decorations. She said that SHE didn’t like having the decorations up on property owned by the members. We were getting into a rather heated discussion in the car and she kept saying that “they are upset” and that “they can’t get onto the Board to change things” and that “they feel helpless”…

I fumed all the way home. Not because of the fact that someone might be upset about the decorations but that, again, no one was coming to us to express their own feelings but that I was, as usual, being approached by a third party over issues that I can’t do anything about unless someone approaches me directly.

Finally, I decided that in order to take the bull by the horns, I needed to speak directly to one of members of the supposedly offended group and find out 1) if there was any discussion about the decorations 2) if so how upset were people and 3) if people were upset, how we could rectify the problem.

I am glad I did.

This was the first she had heard about the “problem”. No one was “talking about it”. No one was “upset”. Further more, members of this same community who are on the Recreation Committee were wanting to plan a Christmas party for all the members of the co-op… Now… to make this completely clear… Muslim community members were wanting to plan a Christmas party for ALL members of the co-op…

Someone please tell FOX News that Christmas is alive and well in multicultural Ottawa!

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