Simmons: You can learn how similar we are by going to different places

As irony would have it, my first column for the Westside section of the Capital News was an introductory piece, and the second, this one, is a farewell.

As irony would have it, my first column for the Westside section of the Capital News was an introductory piece, and the second, this one, is a farewell.

But it’s generally been my feeling the workplace should be both an education and an adventure, rather than a place to hang your hat for most of a lifetime.

Jumping around from job to job and city to town has taken me through all kinds of places, and the more places I visit the more it seems we aren’t that different.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of fuel for disagreement.

Whether it be over the height of someone’s fence in Upper Fintry or over waterfowl being startled by Canada Day fireworks in Salmon Arm, we find no shortage of gripes with each other.

Some might say it’s the gripes that keep us interacting with other human beings, that we need conflict to keep us interested.

That might be so, but underneath it all we’re fairly fortunate compared to many other places in the world. If the height of a neighbour’s fence is one of our most passionate concerns, then we’re doing all right.

There’s a tendency in media to dwell on the negative. Chief among the reasons why is because that’s what people read. It’s human nature, maybe some instinct left over from our primeval ancestors that makes us focus on a potential threat until we know it doesn’t affect us.

It may very well be that same instinct that makes us sometimes consider neighbours a threat or competition for resources rather than a helping hand or companionship in a shared experience.

Since it’s one of perception, the choice is ours to make on how we view other people.

Keep working together, Westside, and you’ll have a long and prosperous future in front of you.

That future is just beginning, and I wish you all the very best.

Mike Simmons was the Westside reporter for the Capital News.