Blast to the Past

“The tragedy of life is often not in our failure, but rather in our complacency; not in our doing too much, but rather in doing too little; not in living above our abilities, but rather in our living below our capacity” – Benjamin Mayes

1958 receiving Christmas gift from Calgary Transit annual staff Christmas Party

Happy Monday, the meanderings are back. It is -21 Celsius today so a good time to get back onto the keyboard. Plus, from all appearances, we have reached a crossroads of the democratic process gained in 1982 with Rights and Freedoms. We now have forty years of the population who have never experienced what life was like in Canada before the actual Constitution which included the Charter of Rights. If you want your rights maintain then take some “personal responsibility” by getting to know it. Change doesn’t happen overnight however “small” erosion through changed regulations can remove them easily enough.

To me this is very personal and takes my memory banks back to 1960 following the last major polio epidemic. Then, like now, was a pivotal time for the future of that once great and free country, Canada. The expansion of regulations and policies meant to save the “average” Canadian all that work of checking out how something needed to be done began. Regulations and policies were never meant for as an excuse for people to lose “common sense” while abandoning “critical thinking” when governments could regulate everything? The decade of regulations, the 1980’s, also became detrimental to the changing face of immigration.

The demographics were very different in 1960 and, the current reality is, we have outgrown that “Eurocentric” approach. We do need change, but we need forward thinking change, not change that drags us back to the “Leave it to Beaver” days.

I have spend too many years as an activist to now sit back swallowing the emotional crap this “savvy” group of would-be politicians use pandemic fear to shove ideology down our throats. LaGrange’s Ministerial orders in August of 2019 regarding “public” education was the first small step in the erosion of democracy while downsizing much of the social safety net. However, that’s fodder for the future, right now I’m focused on today. For now #WordsMatter however keep in mind the Charter only guarantees rights to “public” services. Why do you think Charter schools or faith-based schools can deny education to the disabled?

I’ve been living on a diet of negativity and I have let it fester for too long. One thing this pandemic has really brought to the forefront is the general lack of common sense when it comes to how a system works. I try to be optimistic regarding common sense but find it overwhelming at just how lacking common sense really is. It has been my experience, fifty years plus, clinging to the belief that common sense will prevail. However without the involvement of a “community” (different from tribe) working together, like vaccinating during a pandemic, common-sense dies..

There is more truth to the old adage “If you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem” however avoidance is almost the same as complacent so I can’t succumb to my own form of complacency…ignoring the issues by moving into my own silo of silence. We have a collective of ideologists pretending to govern in Edmonton while people sit back, often not even aware, of the erosion going on. Case in point, I have been completely blown away by how many people have asked me is why they never heard any “residential school” issues when they were in school. I guess if you have lived it you “assume” everybody knows. Lack of common-sense again.

Based on my experience of surviving the last major “epidemic”, polio. With this pandemic I see way to much waffling by a government that appears more interested in their ideological perspective than properly implementing “healthcare” protocols. They seem to want to go out of their way to denigrate the professionals we desperately need like “healthcare” and “education” specialists. Some of these activities were part of the reality faced by so many polio survivors sixty years ago. There are a lot of moving parts in any complex situation and, my apologies in advance, but I have no faith our government “knows” what needs to be done let alone be prepared to implement them. I grew up in the, what is now the Alberta Children’s Hospital and, although there are plenty of pleasant memories of my childhood, it was more like the days of “The Cider House Rules” rather than New Amsterdam.

I grew up in that environment and the effect of these latest restrictions really snapped a memory. I survived the 1953 polio epidemic at age 3, I spend a lot of time in Winnipeg’s King George Hospital. I was to young to understand the concept of “privilege” but the seeds were being planted. I believe to have a “healthy” community requires an “educated” community, not a bunch of sheep who have no idea when it comes to process or “common sense”. So I am back to be a little Jiminy Cricket pain in the ass. You may be able to deny “common sense” but I’ll be riding you you like a broomstick in a Hogwarts Quidditch game.

I need to get back to the reality of my world and quit ducking behind the fear mongering being used behind the hyped up fear of a very REAL health crisis. So with that said Monday Meanderings is back and I’m pretty pissed off.


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