Hello earth visitors, welcome. This lovely planet was unspoiled for billions of years, until settled by humans – now where bureaucracies waste, greed and ambition run up the score, Olympians are cheered, FIFA is a fraud, refugees get warehoused too long and too close to evil, free trade is traded-off with crossed-fingers, cars learn to drive themselves, diseases are being eliminated and it takes a two million dollar nest egg to retire (unless you live in Vancouver where it seems owning one humble bungalow may get you there) or spend billion to change anything.
Just about everywhere, society gets fundamentally important things horribly wrong.
Canadians look down-nose at Americans for endless race issues stemmed from slavery. When Confederate flags come down, we say, ‘what took so long?’ But Canadians can’t boast. So much political cover put on apologies, for our first nations Canadians, there is nothing changing. ‘What is taking so long?’
Meanwhile government spends months, and millions, prosecuting one sloppy and possibly despicable Senator’s expense account misappropriations – exhibiting for all that we didn’t have rules for decades, or ever …
Events collectively move us to radically change or tilt at windmills – more that Luther or Cervantes every dreamt, more than suffragettes, more than peace movements or women’s movement – earth looks more like an agonizing bowel movement, where a constipated society, so full of itself, cannot see itself.
On our streets, does there live our next Ghandi?
Maybe a Mandela, a Christ, a Thomas Moore, a Louis Riel, a Che or Thomas Jefferson?
History’s revolutionaries, game-changers – were persecuted, dismissed, silenced. Withstanding horrid adversity they changed life on earth as we know it.
More than Jobs, Einstein, Salk or Bell.
OK, as much as!
But, I would assert, more importantly.
Are we collectively insane?
Yet individually, none of us admit feeling insane.
Why is that?
We could: isolate ourselves, acquire remote patches of dirt, start our own personal country – like ordering a pizza, making our own laws, establish a new society where people do it differently – no bad treatment of anyone, healthy living for everyone, purity of thought and dedication of purpose … where we don’t eat cancer-causing substances, where we don’t eat snacks after dinner, get plenty of exercise and sleep, eat healthy and live long. And prosper.
Probably not. We’ll be overwhelmed by collective largeness/power of business, government and societal norms of the push-pull of terrorism, failed states, failing economies, failed political forces and failed doctrines, by Wall Street and Madison Avenue. I read about Pope Francis preaching environmental reform – but still not preaching population control. With profound influence over so many, what is he thinking?
Most of us rest silent, don’t try to change much – least of all ourselves. Why is that?
We are intelligent enough – resourceful enough to do just about anything we set our minds to or train our bodies for, we can do …
What can we do?
We live in a ‘we CAN say anything about anything’ world.
We CAN DO anything!
But, do we do anything?
Perhaps, bumper stickers:
Don’t keep slaves, don’t eat dogs, don’t have too many children, don’t waste, don’t pollute. Don’t wage war. Be nice. Love. Don’t eat trans-fats. And have a nice day.
column written/ published from Calgary, AB
morning walk: 10C/50F, steady cool breeze, spotless sky – awesome blue. Every day is the same, but weather really sets the tone, doesn’t it? Gusta was normal/happy, a Magpie chose to interrupt the silence – otherwise it was wonderful stroll on empty streets before traffic started to hum.