After attempting to meet friends at Danforth Bowl, none of whom I could find, I find, I found myself at Danforth and Coxwall in East Toronto with nothing to do but take the Subway back to the Annex. Well, “rats to that”, I thought – and instead I decided to walk the 8km back to my house on Brunswick.
It was enjoyable – I got some exercise, got a good luck at Greektown, and had plenty of time to think about philosophy. Interesting, in Greektown all the Christmas lights, and plenty of Christmas decorations are still up. Which is nice; it gives the winter a festive feel.
The bridge over the Don Valley is quite something to walk across. Just before you step onto the bridge, you see is a large sign: “We listen to you anytime” and a phone number, next to a phone booth. It’s a suicide prevention measure, along with a massive suicide-prevention fence on either side of the bridge. Walking along, thinking about that phone, thinking about the person on the other end of it, and thinking about the amount of money that was spent on the suicide-prevention fence, it really forces one to reflect on how exclusionary our society is – how easy it is for people to become depressed and isolated. And how difficult it can be for people to reach out, and for those reached out to to be able to cope with people who need help. Moreover, the existence of those who can’t deal with the suffering in our society, in whatever way it affects, them, immediately points to why do we do so little to combat the conditions under which suffering thrives? How unequal will we let our culture get, before even the rich don’t want to live in it? And what would it take for care to become a value on the level of values like “profit”, “world class”, “culture” and “efficiency”? Of course, this is a wrong question, there is no “how bad must it get” other than in Bob Dylan songs. In reality, how bad it is, is entirely contextual and dependant on the values of the person looking.