New Decade, New Direction

I just got back in from a quick wheel around the community. It is still warm enough (the sun is bright) to do a good wheel and not lose too much air out of my tires. However, based on the numbness of my fingertips it was chillier than I thought. But they are forecasting a drastic drop in temperatures in the next couple of days so I grab those outdoor moments when I can. Anybody that knows Calgary understands just how fickle our weather can be.

When I got back into the comfort of my condo I flipped on the news. Big mistake with the current conditions of the world these days. Between the fires of Australia, the craziness of the middle east, the insanity of Brexit and the twisted ideology sweeping across Canada flipping on the news was a huge mistake. So then I switched over to my computer monitor to hit some social media sites.

While catching up there I was quite please to see the 2020 “Best of Calgary” list has been released. The four nominees for “Best Civic Activist” were Jason Ribeiro, Mike Morrison, Mark Hopkins and Hannah Kost. One I know, two I’m aware of and the fourth was a new name to me. Regardless activism is in my blood so I pay attention to those and congratulate all four of them. Voting starts Jan 15th so Calgarians pay attention. If you visit the voting site you can really realize just how much of the City has changed. I would never even have thought of “Best Ice Cream or Gelato” shop, Best Coffee, Best Night Spot and the list went on. Calgary has moved a long way since the 80’s and I use to know every spot out there. I have lost touch with the City that I love.

I traditionally wrote a weekly “Monday Meanderings of the Mindless Myth” blog which was dedicated to advocacy and activism. I was beginning to feel like I was talking in a vacuum so I pulled back about two months ago. However in light of recent political events in Alberta I have come to the realization that now is not the time to back off. I am witnessing the continuing erosion of so many things my generation of activists fought for now is not the time to quit. There are four good nominees for the Best Civic Activists on the City list however they all lack history.

This being the first Monday of a new year in a new decade I am refocusing my energies and changing the direction of my blog. I am going to be examining advocacy and activism by decade rather than years. It has really been hammered home to me recently that the new generation of activists have little knowledge of why we are where we are. Rights are being eroded and many activists have no understanding, in part, because those rights were already here. They’ve never known anything else so how would they know what they are loosing.

A generational chart showing a dozen generations from the Lost Generation (1890) up to the most current Gen Alpha born since 2013
Where we fit in the demographics can often determine our commitment to activism

Education, healthcare, community inclusion, cultural protections, federal transfers, the Canada Pension Plan, and the list goes on are all under attack these days. These development made in the past sixty years are very generational and that is reflected in how we vote, who we put in power. The generation that fought for those programs are now becoming seniors just to discover so many things they fought for have been whittled away. Each generation has their own belief’s when it comes to politics. Where you fit on the political spectrum is usually dictated by the rights and programs your generation could access based on the work of the generation before you. The generation before me died on the battlefields of Europe so my generation would not have to face fascism and have access to a better standard of life than those that came out of the “Dirty Thirties“.

I want those four “Best Civic Activist” nominees to understand the ground their work is build upon. This is where words matter and being an “activist” should not be confused with advocacy or lobbying. Words are powerful and the power of an activist is found in the strength to their commitment. It is based on their understanding of the details that come from out history and that history could be as recent as ten year ago. It is often build on the graves of others.

A black and white picture of an elderly lady holding a sign reading "I can't believe I still have to protest this fucking shit"
A true activist does not let age dictate their commitment

So I am back with my Monday Meanderings but I will be adding more. From my perspective we are facing a provincial government that no longer cares about people. They have given repeated indications that all they care about is what they can impose or take away from us. And they can only impose if we, as the voters, don’t take a stand and speak out. We need to support our activists but we also have to be vocal. We have to let OUR politicians aware that they work for us, the VOTERS. So I am back and I am speaking out. I am here to remind people of the decades that went on before many of you arrived and not just what has happened in the last year. History is more than 365 days and civic involvement doesn’t end at the polling station. So until next time be loud, #WordsMatter…

If you have any questions or any matter of particular interest to you, leave a comment. Plus the “donation” button is meant to be more than decorative, with Kenney deleting so many supports for seniors and persons with disabilities I have just resorted to the times of the 50’s and 60’s. Except instead of a “begging bowl” I’ve gone upscale with technology and now present a “Donation” button…

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