Last night I wrote an angry letter regarding the pepper spray incident at the Canada Day fireworks. I now have had some time and some sleep to more clearly state what I want to state.
First, I would like to thank my daughter, who despite being sprayed directly with pepper spray, was fortunate enough not to get the spray in her eyes. She stayed calm and was able to leave the park and lead her friend, who was blinded by the spray, four blocks back to our house.
I would like to thank the firemen, police, and ambulance attendants who came to our house to treat these two good teenagers for chemical burns to their skin and eyes. The treatment for pepper spray is Johnson’s baby soap directly on the skin, and, more painfully, directly to the eyes. I assure you that “no more tears” does not apply.
We all had various detrimental things to say about the kind of person who would do such a thing to absolute strangers. Or especially to a child. Like the one who was behind my daughter. Whose mother rushed their screaming child to the bathroom to try to do something to help. The unfortunate thing is, water doesn’t help, so this child would have experienced pain that no child should ever bear.
So, after some time to think about the kind of person who would do this, I came to a conclusion. As heinous an act as this was, I am hoping that this was an act committed by a person who immediately regretted what they did. Especially when they heard the instant screams of terror and pain from that young child. I’m hoping that they didn’t realize how brutal their joke would be, and that if they could go back in time, they would choose not to do it, or that they would tell their friends not to do it. I’m hoping that in the future, when they think about doing something stupid, they think back to this night with a cold chill of remorse at how many people they hurt, how they hurt at least one young child, and think of a better way to use their time and energies. Or that they decide to stay home.
So, to the person who did this, which one are you? The monster who hurts small children and strangers, or the person who made a terrible mistake, and will become a better person for it in the future? Which are you going to chose to be?