Lunch yesterday, with my Calgary friend Allan (AH).
Not to be confused with friend Okotoks Al (also AH).
How could I confuse them?
Grey hair verging on silver, grey hair verging on white.
Early 50s, mid 70s. Me, 63.
Friends, same initials.
Friends I don’t see, don’t talk to often enough.
Not far apart geographically. Far apart philosophically. Apart in experiences.
What do they have in common, aside from me?
Apart in age, but not far. Apart in needs, in problems, in solutions.
Opposite ends of the political spectrum, but they are not polar opposites.
They are the same.
They’ve known loss, hard loss.
They’ve known bumps.
They’ve worked in our system of government, one of the doing side, one on the deciding side. One on the policy side, one on the carry it out side.
Oh my, I can talk to them and not feel pulled apart like legs off a crab …
One, a package of medical and life issues himself – widower, whose wife ran headlong into an inflexible overtaxed expensive health care system, can do little or nothing about his situation.
The other, political insider, without ‘today’ problems himself, CAN do something about things, but doesn’t know how.
He has access, but no message.
Questions, but no answers.
His question to me, what can we do?
Questions, when politicians ask, are always about money – so they get answers about money.
Problems require solutions, not money.
Require innovation and caring, not cash. Money solutions simply excuse the tougher work of looking at systemic issues, at the fundamentals of problems.
I will answer. I will write. I will talk. I will try. If only they will listen … maybe I can help AH to help AH. That would be nice.
This got me thinking, plenty, about a time when rolling up sleeves and arguing policy till the wee hours with others, zealously caring – not for blaming a problem, but for solving some.
What’s become of us?
Things move too fast. True.
Things move too slow. True.
I am responsible for that. True.
You are responsible for that. True.
We are all responsible for that. True.
There is nothing we can do about it. False.
What problem are you trying to solve, what issue do you care about?
I’ve had some serendipitous conversations recently. Diverse collection of individuals, each doing great work for great reasons. Also, some who ‘used to be’ described that way but who now sit on their collective hands.
And I wonder why we aren’t trying as hard to solve problems. Did we get old, or just weary? Did we cease to care, or just cease to care for hearing our own voice?
Windmills, it seems, don’t go away.
Tilting at them … seems to never grow old, but we ought to get tired of that.
The enemies of our society, our organizations and our politics is not some media-fueled lame opposition party, not a government, not the NGOs or the who-knows-who set.
Those enemies, or rather the demons, are we who sit and only think.
Do we just re-pick some old fights, re-lift some heavy things, re-roll some rocks up a hill?
Not old ways we’ve tried, but new ones we’ve not tried before.
If not us, who?
column written/ published from Calgary, AB
morning walk: -2C/29F, overcast, light breeze, more mild ahead today but still snow covered lawns give Gusta some mysteries to sniff out..
That play on words again...as to scents; it's beginning to smell a lot like spring in the Piney Woods. Lots of yellow blossoms scenting the air so sweet which calls all bees of all varieties for miles. Common sense; that is my biggest disappointment. Why does common sense not abound in our world. It is the foundation of wisdom, IMHO. The other thing I seem to have difficulty finding in other people is initiative. It is such a great character trait but alas is missing in most. Just musing...GW, Bon Wier, Tx.
Often people ride the train and sit next to you. They are there for a short time to teach you something about yourself. Others might ride a little longer to learn something about themselves, CC, Valencia, CA