Should we burn our ‘Guys?’

In life, when judging others, we need to weigh the good and the bad.

Editor: Recent political events in Canada remind one of Guy Fawkes Day.

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November/ That is the reason the gunpowder season/ Should never be forgot,” says the nursery rhyme. “Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, ’twas his intent/ To blow up the King and the Parliament.”

The botched event happened on Nov. 5, 1605. The conspirators, caught in the act, suffered the dreadful fate of being hanged, drawn and quartered. As far as I know, Nov. 5 is still celebrated in England with a scarecrow effigy of Guy Fawkes placed on a stake and burned on a bonfire, whole children dance around and fireworks are let off.

We have our own version of Guys to be burned, whether they deserve it or not. Short of wars and other distractions, the press, in attacks possibly instigated by ambitious, behind-the-scenes third parties, single them out for our attention. Senator Mike Duffy is accused of grossly padding his expenses, and Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto is in the news daily.

Physically, they look alike. They remind me of Lewis Carroll’s characters in his book Through the Looking Glass: Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

On Nov. 5, 2013, Ford finally admitted doing a stupid thing — using crack cocaine. Self-righteous voices are raised, calling for his resignation. I wonder why?

Who is waiting in the wings to step into his place? I hear many people feel he has done good things for Toronto.

I recall the story in the Bible about the woman caught in adultery. People were standing around ready to stone her to death, but Jesus challenged them with the words, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” The crowd melted away.

As for Duffy, shall we bring down the prime minister for apparent involvement in trying to smooth this matter away?

Nobody is perfect. We are human beings, inmates of planet Earth. I doubt anyone can honestly stand up and say they’ve never done a foolish thing, something they would feel ashamed to admit.

Is the person unregenerate, still doing stupid things? Or is the person aware of the error of his ways and honestly willing to make up the damage he may have done?

I quote from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is often interred with their bones.”

In life, when judging others, we need to weigh the good and the bad. Only then should we decide whether to burn the bad guy.

Gloria Hancock,


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