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Neighbors helping each other is the best policy

Thanks Pioneer staff, for your Opinion Page article on Friday, Aug. 20. by Peter Funt, "Is there a basic fairness?" As someone who has grown up in northern Minnesota, I have never believed that life gives everyone the same chance for Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Only by compassion, understanding, generosity, and humility, can we give those less fortunate than us a chance to better their lives, and our society.

I totally agree with Mr. Funt, that the Rush Limbaughs of this country, with their greater than thou images of themselves, are creating a "us and them" society. The Roman Empire comes to my mind, and its eventual collapse.

But in our community there seems to be some real powerful things happening. Habitat for Humanity, Ours to Serve, the Food Shelf, Cultural Awareness Days, The United Way Drive and so many other activities, are all geared to help those who need a hand, to create a better life and were all richer for it.

Spending more on education, childhood programs for those who can't afford basic medical needs, and elderly housing, aren't handouts, they save tax dollars in the long run. Neighbors helping neighbors, community food drives, affordable public transportation, are all ways the Bemidji community has grown and prospered.

Having traveled to many Third World nations, I have seen firsthand, how basic needs can be met by everyone working together, even if the government fails to come through. I have never looked at a poor person who I meet here at home or abroad as someone who just isn't lucky in life, I feel compassion for them, and wonder how with just a small amount of help, they can improve their lives, and those around them.

Little things we do locally can make a big difference in people's lives, and change them and us for the better. Understanding our differences, but not judging someone for how they dress, or the car they drive, is a great start. The color of one's skin, religion, or hairdo has little to nothing to do with a person's character, get to know them, then make an informed decision.

I totally agree with Funt when he said "Life can be unfair." And what are we going to do to make it better?

Terry Larson

Cass Lake