At first I thought, if I write about the rioting that happened after the Canucks hockey game then I’m giving attention to the perpetrators – something they likely crave. But then I thought, what about the citizens who tried to intervene or those who descended on downtown Vancouver the next morning to clean up the mess? Those people deserve to be recognized.
“I must do something” always solves more problems than “Something must be done.”
~ Author Unknown
Obviously, the two guys who tried to stop people from breaking the windows at the Bay and the man who tried to stop a group from breaking into Sears embodied the above quote. As did the people who protected bystanders who were injured. The people who started the Facebook page and Twitter accounts urging Vancouverites to clean up the mess and the hundreds of people who heeded that message and came downtown to clean up THEIR beautiful city also lived this quote.
These people, and the many more who tried to stop the violence, decided they must do something and they did. They could have said: “Something needs to be done but I’m not doing it. The police should do it. The city should do it.” They didn’t say that – they took responsibility.
“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility.”
– Albert Einstein
Those who took pictures as they followed the rioters around and cheered them on, did not live the quote above.
Yes I know there’s mob mentality, in which people do things as an anonymous face in a misbehaving crowd that they normally would not do. (They think they’re anonymous… not with the proliferation of cell phones with video that captured their faces!)
Had these inciters taken self-responsibility, they would have left the area or stopped cheering on those committing the crimes. Cheering on the trouble makers and giving them an audience just keeps them going. Imagine if those egging them on had just left. The troublemaker would be the only one standing there.
To those who took responsibility – thank you. Your efforts have been noticed. You’re one of the reasons that Vancouver is such a great place to live.
P.S. The streets were clean by noon.