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EDITORIAL: Parksville woman’s tale a reminder for us all to be kind

Cooper accosted after parking in designated disability stall

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” — Aesop

Now, you know if you’re referencing Aesop, a quote has been around for a long time.

But it still holds up today.

We can understand if people might be a little on edge these days, what with the entire global pandemic and all. But there’s still no reason not to be kind – and no reason for a Parksville woman to go through a situation like she encountered recently.

On Wednesday, April 28, Kim Cooper, 53, pulled into a designated disability stall at a Parksville parking lot when a woman began to aggressively yell at her.

“I wasn’t even completely parked, my sign was on my dash where it always is. And I opened my door and said ‘are you yelling at me?’ And she said ‘yes, where’s your handicap sign?’ And I went ‘it’s on my dash.’ And she just kept going on and on and on.”

Cooper survived a heart attack approximately 10 years ago and has lived with congestive heart failure ever since, a chronic and progressive condition that affects the pumping power of her heart. Living with such a condition can leave her winded while walking long distances, which can stress her heart and further exacerbate her condition. Due to the nature of her condition, she has a disabled parking permit that allows her to park in the designated stalls near a building’s entrance.

READ MORE: Woman with heart condition verbally accosted in Parksville over disabled parking stall

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Another old standard that we can still all live by.

What point did it serve for another person to yell at Cooper, simply because she didn’t ‘look’ like whatever that person’s definition of disabled may have been?

Fortunately for Cooper, there were also some nicer folks around.

The co-owner of Bosley’s by Pet Valu, Brianne Carson, approached Cooper and offered to walk her back to her vehicle.

“And I just burst into tears. She probably spent 35 minutes with me. I mean, I was just shaking,” said Cooper. “And it’s not right. I think we need to address the situation that ‘hey, not everybody has a visible handicap’.”

A big thumbs up to Carson, and the overwhelming majority of people out there who still make kindness a priority.

Incidents like the one Cooper had to endure may also cause people with genuine disabilities hesitate to claim the services they require.

That should never happen.

Especially during these trying times, be kind to one another.

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