Everyone is welcome to their opinion

Columnist Esther Darlington MacDonald responds to last week's criticism.

Dear Editor

I appreciated Andrea Walker’s lengthy letter to the editor about two topics in my column that hit a couple of nerves. Editors like responses like Andrea’s, and so do columnists.

People can get murdered anywhere. That’s true. But you know the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, and we’ve seen enough coming out of Mexico to make many pause. Wasn’t it the Canadian government that cautioned Canadians visiting Mexico to exercise vigilance, just as Andrea herself has lectured about?

As for the Wellness brand, “detaching yourself from your environment”, which Andrea says was what the Branding Committee was supposed to do, must have been devilishly difficult to do. “Thinking outside the box.” What is the “box” referred to? Most people are not public relations professionals, and it is the PR people who know how to come up with the words that sell products. I can appreciate what a challenge the foregoing must have been.

No, I admit I have not been to Mexico. Though I have been to New Mexico twice, having relatives there. And I confess too, that the pictorial and editorial content I have seen and read in several newspapers and on the TV news, determined my column’s opinion. But I have travelled pretty widely, both in North America and in Europe, and I am quite aware of the vigilance required as a traveller and as a tourist. I guess most of us are.

Of course the media loves sensationalism. That’s what selling newspapers or magazines are about. But what is sensationalism? The term gets pretty relative when you see pictures of mass graves and hear unbiased reports from the Red Cross and Amnesty International, as well as the U.N. General Assembly and other agencies about what is happening “out there”.

By all means, disagree. And express your opinions. We love to read them, hear them. That’s one of the joys of living in a free country like Canada.

Esther Darlington MacDonald

Ashcroft