Sunday, June 17, 2012

Is getting back to basics the answer?

Some days I don’t even want to watch the news, as we learn about some new atrocity that has occurred. The political unrest in many countries is almost epidemic, with an uprising of ordinary people taking extraordinary action to speak up and demand their democratic rights.

Why are so many countries rebelling against authority?  Sadly many of the leading governments appear to have been corrupt or self-serving, lining the pockets of politicians rather than looking at what was best for their citizens.

The good news is that people are speaking out, asking questions and demanding change, all with the underlying goal of positively shaping the future for their families and countries.  The bad news is that so many people have died or been injured in this quest for freedom.  

Like any rebellion or challenge to the status quo, the resulting change can only be welcomed, especially in countries where corruption has been rampant.  Yet it must be acknowledged that it will take time for these countries to function efficiently. There is no instant fix.

The economy is so volatile, with the financial bankruptcy of countries having a ripple effect globally. Sadly the impact is most felt by young people. Unemployment for youth is at an all-time high around the world, which is concerning and doesn’t bode well for our future.  And the boomers are not retiring. They can’t afford to, with many having lost their jobs or savings in investments that have tanked. 

But what about Canada, where we have grown to expect decency; where we have prided ourselves in being democratic and respectful of individual ideals?  Sadly we do not appear to be totally immune, as witnessed by the recent election irregularities, the robocalls fiasco and the misleading information on the F35 jet costs.

These are worrying times, when our whole moral and value system is put under scrutiny and perhaps we don’t measure up.  It would seem that like the other countries, our views as citizens are not always respected, valued or taken into consideration when government at all levels makes major decisions that will impact us all.

It can be depressing to reflect on what is happening globally, and in reality we can only tackle what is happening in our own back yard.  I have to believe that we will overcome these challenges and that getting back to basics will serve us well.

By basics I mean living our lives more modestly, remembering what is important and what is superfluous in creating a meaningful, rich life for ourselves and our children. It’s about getting back to our core values and beliefs as Canadians.  It’s about making sure that those who are less fortunate have an equal opportunity to get ahead in life.

We need to draw on our pride of being Canadian, to speak out and make our views known and if we don’t like the politics we see, get involved, rather than just criticizing and complaining from the sidelines.  Apathy is a dangerous bedfellow.   

And it is not just about politics.  It is about our day-to-day living and how within our communities, we can reach out and help others. When we take an interest and support others, we gain perspective on our own problems – there is always someone worse of than you and your involvement could make the difference. 

Taking action makes you feel less helpless and more in control of shaping the future, for yourself and others.

“All that we give into the lives of others, comes back into our own.”  Let’s give.

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