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Fifty-year old speech still resonates today

Ideas of individual responsibility are timeless
policeman
We're all responsible in this life, says reader. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

A speech I gave over 50 years ago at a Remembrance Day ceremony seems as applicable to our lives today. Here's an excerpt:

We have so many priorities that nothing has priority.  No one thing is of paramount importance--including peace in our time.   Our values are mixed because we have declining levels of accepted leadership in several parts of the world.  The policeman more and more seems to be a man who is tolerated, instead of respected.
This possibly explains why the critics blame television for creating violence and the social ills of the world, however truthful and tragic they may be, and the critics don’t want to look into that mirror. We have come a long way in Canada to equalize opportunity, but at the same time, the better the equalization of opportunity, the greater the responsibility of every citizen to the society in which he belongs.  Someone provided that opportunity, be it a father, a mother,
a relative, a friend, a neighbour, a teacher, businessman or member of the clergy.  Someone, at some time, provided that opportunity with the hopes and expectations each in turn would do likewise.

Isn’t it strange that princes and kings
And clowns that caper in sawdust rings
And common folk like you and me
Are builders of eternity
To each is given a bag of tools, a shapeless mass, a book of rules
And each must build before life has flown
A stumbling block, or a stepping stone.

Bruce Hogle

Edmonton, AB