Went to a meeting in Toronto today – which only matters because the drive – plus the fact that Saturday evening on CBC Radio is all music which I do not care for (if I wanted music, I could listen to almost ANY OTHER STATION on the radio; I do not want music, that’s why I like the CBC … usually) …Anyway… lots of time for thinking about how things – in Ontario, and in Canada, would be vastly different if I had anything to say about it.
SO many things would be done differently if I were in charge.
For starters, every decision my government made would begin with one simple concept. Not money. Not history….I don’t give a carp about how we’ve always done it. The vast majority of our systems were imported and pre-computers. Now we are supposedly a growed up independent country – it’s past time we started thinking for ourselves. And it is long past time we stopped building on top of old technology and started making the most of new. Just because we have always …doesn’t mean that it is the best option to serve us now.
ANYWAY…. the simple concept? R E S P E C T. That’s right – I know… foreign concept to our current governments. But too bad. If I were in charge, that would be the place to start. No ifs, ands, or buts. If what you want to do is not based on respect for every single person it impacts, then go do it somewhere else, not in MY country.
What would that mean? It would mean starting from a place where all people – no matter their colour, income, ability, gender, etc. etc. are deserving of respect and dignity. All are valued, recognized to have potential, and every last one of us should have a right to participate in our society. Some may choose not to, and that is up to them – but if we were to start with the notion that each & every human life has value – and a voice – we’d already be a heck of a lot healthier as a society than we are.
We wouldn’t have children growing up in poverty believing that their lot in life is to collect welfare just like their parents.
We wouldn’t have disabled people languishing in totally inappropriate placements for them.
We wouldn’t have nearly as many people in prisons, nursing homes, and in our streets, as we do.
No doctors driving cabs.
No refugees becoming critically ill for want of basic health care.
No Aboriginal communities without potable water, decent shelter, schools, health care & social services that the rest of Canada take for granted.
A little respect, with a side order of real common sense (not of the Harris variety) would go a very long way.
It would take time, and a whole lot of re-education – but in a province/country/world based on respect for all, we could even do away with discrimination, racism, exploitation, violence…
sounds unrealistic, huh? So what….? We like our current state of affairs? It’s all hunky dory fine to have discrimination, racism, exploitation, violence…. and to continue to grow more of the same because that’s the way we’ve always done it?
I think not.
As long as we believe that we can’t change it, we can’t.
I’m beyond tired of self-defeating prophecies. We could do better… if only we believed….imagined…and got to work.