If we want a better world!

I have become cranky as I grow older.

The yammering of all stripes of political leaders, but most especially the far right, who try to ramp up anger and promote chaos just gets on my nerves…and I spent over two decades in politics in my community. But not like this.

There is a new age of discontent growing and spreading like a fungus. The Trump presidency and then the covid pandemic triggered something beneath the surface of civil society,  something that had been there forever, hiding in the shadows, but has now emerged with an arrogance and disregard for social cohesion, for knowledge, for a caring and responsible society.

I think most people have been shocked by the violence, the lies, the corruption that we see around us, and we are saddened by the lack of accountability or justice for those who continue to try and break our society.

I don’t understand the goals of the mob. Maybe there are none. Maybe the power they seem to wield has no real meaning. Because the constant demands to dismantle governments are ludicrous. Who do they think will provide health care, and education and peace keeping? Who will build the highways and bridges? Who will insure we take care of the water, the land, the air? Who will regulate our behaviour to counter climate change? How will we ensure our country remains free and secure and has a functioning and successful democracy?

You cannot replace any of that with nothing, with empty rhetoric! Individually we are incapable of surviving. It is only together, as a society, pooling our resources and taking collective responsibility, that we will survive and thrive.

Oh yes, I hear the criticism of all levels of governments from the complainers and those who are always angry at everything. The good will be sacrificed in the pursuit of perfection. But those mobs who hate everything have no answers for the question ‘if not this, then what?’

Do those who decry pandemic measures really believe doing nothing was the answer, despite hundreds of years of history that have shown us what happens when plagues and pandemics run wild? Great Britain lost half the population to the black plague. Half! Dead. It took decades to repopulate the UK and re-establish a functioning economy. We know better now and have the means to save ourselves, especially from the arm-chair experts. We ignore our history at our own peril, destined to repeat it until we learn from it.

The constant cries of a broken system in this country and others around the world are actually breaking the system, undermining our confidence in our own society. Bullies taunt every aspect of our society, trying to tear it to pieces while providing nothing to replace it. Government is bad, news we dislike must be fake, violence toward women and children is rising alarmingly, and our human rights are being stripped away, immigrants are treated with suspicion and violence despite the fact that the majority of us come from immigrant backgrounds. People elected to office are confident in attacking the very system they are a part of and promoting outrageous views because they believe the population will grow so weary, so disenchanted we will eventually stop caring! We will stop voting or holding anyone to account for the slippery decline in our human rights, our economic security, affordable housing, universal healthcare, a roof over our head and a better life for our families.

And as the noise and chaos and distractions grow – addictions to drugs and social media and technology, fears of the ‘other guy’ coming to get you or your family, the constant barrage of conflicting information – stripping away our ability to focus and think and learn and pay attention, the real issues that threaten us as human beings are being forgotten.

We have seen a war once again emerge with threats of nuclear destruction that could annihilate us all! So, the rise of violence and ignorance and hatred are all the more alarming and senseless. 

The climate is changing. It will redefine our economies, our communities, our futures. Each new weather phenomenon that destroys our farmland or washes out the roads that we need to access food and goods, each new pandemic, each drought or extreme heat event that destroys our food producing land and water brings us closer to a catastrophic world-wide crisis that cannot be stopped.

There is an old saying: “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” We are the Nero’s fiddling on our smart phones while the planet begins to burn.

All of the energy that is being expended on right versus left, them versus us (whoever either of those terms represent because after all we are all just human beings living on the same planet), the vitriol of the bullies and the haters and the corrupt, the violence towards each other, strong versus weak, the anti-knowledge, anti-history, anti-everything and everyone consciousness that is overtaking us could be used to make the whole world better, to solve our problems, to care for the planet and all the creatures who inhabit it, to insure everyone has fairness and justice and equality.

If we want a better world, then we must put aside our hate and fear and turn all of our efforts toward making a more tolerant and just society.

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