IMAGINE 2030:A Vision for a Unified Canada
-> Where you LIVE is not who you ARE<-
This is the first of what are to be a series of posts on thoughts, feelings and opinions about Environment, Values, and Technology in the context of the challenges we face a community, as a country and as global citizens. In this post, I will focus on how the language of war and division that have entered our daily lexicon amplified through the terrifying inescapable lens of social media are damaging our ability to work together to solve the massive challenges we ALL face.
When I graduated from Waterloo University in 1994 with a degree in Geological Engineering, I chose to travel and live across Canada with the goal of visiting or living in every part of Canada.
I have enjoyed experiencing all the different local cultural aspects and tremendous diversity this amazing country offers, (far too many stories to list in this short post), but what struck me most were the things that were common across all provinces – the core values that bring us together that everyone I have met share across this great country.
Everywhere I have been people have been friendly, open, welcoming. While there are often differences of opinion, these were never a barrier to honest discussion and the desire to work together, to help and to support each other.
Without exception in every place I have lived, visited or worked across Canada the values of honesty, collaboration, a willingness to forgive, to work hard to reach a goal, to help each other succeed have been at the core of who we are and who we aspire to be.
It is disturbing and disappointing therefore to witness the adoption of the language of war and division by leaders in all levels of government as a primary means to push agendas.
This language of war and division does this great country a huge disservice. In my direct experience does not reflect the reality that makes us Canadian: the values we all share regardless of where we live.
I have been driven to deeply study the history of the rise of World War II era dictatorships and the language of division amplified through the propaganda they used to justify actions through the creation of ‘THEY’. I have been driven to do so by being exposed to a religious fundamentalist cult during the last two years of high school that justified its use of public shaming and discipline actions to achieve a higher purpose – which I will discuss in a subsequent post. (https://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/former-students-allege-psychological-physical-and-sexual-abuse-at-ont-christian-school-1.2766446 )
Both history and personal experience have unequivocal lessons regarding the use of the propaganda based in the language of war, and division and public shaming to achieve action and outcomes.
The use of propaganda to create Villains through the language of THEY through shaming, finger pointing, blame to forward an agenda always ends in grief, destruction and catastrophe.
Propaganda and shaming are not only destroying our ability to work together to solve the growing challenges we ALL collectively face not just as separate individual provinces, but as a nation, but are also eroding our international reputation as a global leader.
Where we live is not who we are or what we value. With all the challenges we face with global warming, economic uncertainty, political instability, the world needs Canada more than ever to act as a leader, and that means we must come together as people, as provinces and as a country.
We must imagine the future we want to create and build a path to that future. We must show the world that it is possible to overcome the challenges, but to do this I believe no one province, government, industry or jurisdiction has the answer. We MUST collaborate across all provinces, industries and people.
Overcoming our differences and coming together will be hard – it will be the hardest thing we have ever done. But the alternative of continuing down the path of propaganda driven shaming, finger pointing and division will create a future that none of us want to imagine living in.