Big Time Activism July 7, 2013Posted by Teresa in Ponder This.
Tags: activism, change, changing the world, society
There have always been people who stand out on their own, who buck “the man,” who stand up to authority. Well, perhaps that isn’t entirely true — there may have been a time in the distant past when people were so focused on mere survival, they didn’t have the luxury to protest, or when “the authority” was so much more powerful than the common man, it was too dangerous or difficult to stand up to it.
But in the 70′s large scale activism really got going! Rallies and protests became common and they have been going on in one form or another ever since. Most of the time, their goal is to gain awareness of the problem by getting lots of media attention.
There is a slight problem with these type of protests, however.
We will do things in large groups we would never do individually, because, as everybody knows, there is strength in numbers. But that strength is artificial; it is bolstering our egos; it is the courage of the masses. To be truly courageous, stand on your own. Take action when no one else is. Do something in complete privacy or anonymity to make a difference.
Let’s take the Occupy movement as an example. Why not do something personally to take some power away from Wall Street? Stop investing in the money system. Stop giving it power. Stop treating rich people differently. Don’t do things just for the money.
Whatever cause you believe in, can you figure out a way to single-handedly make a real difference? Not just get lots of media attention. Not just meet a whole bunch of like-minded people — those things are fine, but they often, unfortunately, do not actually make a difference. Could you instead work towards becoming an elected official, or upper management in a corporation, and get into a position where you really can make changes in laws and policies? People in those positions sometimes do not even use the power they have, and they probably didn’t get into those positions to be activists… but what if some did? What if you stood up as a leader?
What sorts of changes could you make privately or anonymously? Could you just silently stop buying products you don’t agree with? What about treating people differently — personally being the change you want to see in the world.
Or, what if you made a personal change but perhaps mentioned it on Facebook? Doing so could call others to take their own, personal action. It isn’t private or anonymous, but it could very well be an individual thing. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying rallies are demonstrations are bad. I’m just saying they are not the only way, or the best way, not by a long shot.
The New Activism
This winter, my awesome roommate and I discovered the new way of activism.
A friend of ours was driving back from Yellowknife when he came across a family having truck trouble. He piled them all in his pick-up and drove them to Fort Simpson where he gave them his second truck to drive back to Yellowknife, a distance of over 600 km. He had to go back to Yellowknife in a few weeks, so he would get the truck back then. That made a difference. That kind of thing changes the world. Giving cinnamon buns away to hungry, tired truckers changes the world. Driving a co-worker 400 km so she can pick up the new vehicle she bought changes the world. The man who drove his vac-truck from Saskatoon to Calgary after the flood and pumped out basements for free is changing the world!
It makes no sense to get people angry for peace. Using fear to fight fear is backwards. Rallying just for show is pointless.
The new way of activism is this: frequent and surprising random acts of kindness that are big, individual, and life-changing.
It’s a bit like paying it forward (remember the movie?). It’s an explosion of caring, a flurry of friendship, offered freely and fully, to strangers and family alike. If it gets some media attention because it is so big, then fine, but that’s not the purpose.
Want to join me? : )
Life is Not a Movie June 28, 2013Posted by Teresa in Ponder This.
Tags: life, media, modern life, movies, TV, zombies
1 comment so far
The other day, while walking on a beautiful forest trail, I suddenly thought “this would make a nice scene in a movie.” The thought was so out-of-the-blue, it really struck me. I had been thinking about what the North was like before pharmaceuticals, how people truly lived off the land. They used the plants that grow naturally to cure things that bothered them. They learned what plants helped what problems by trial and error, and by following their intuition, and the knowledge was passed down verbally from one person to another. I was completely focused on nature, which is why the thought about movies was so surprising, and, of course, it got me thinking about media.
I wonder how much of the time we relate our real lives to things we see on film and on TV. How often do we compare our lives to the glamour we see on screen, and feel unsatisfied or inadequate? How often do we think about what we look like from the outside, or how our situation must look? I think we do it all the time, sub-consciously. We are all like Abed from the show Community, we just don’t say it out loud. And I just did it again.
Go back in time (like Michael J. Fox), in your mind (it’s such a beautiful one) and imagine a time before there were movies, TV or the internet. Think of Little House on the Prairie. See how it goes? By just mentioning shows or actors you know, I can very quickly get us all on the same page and go from there. Starting with the obvious things, before there was TV, people never thought about getting home in time for a show, or recording it, or when the next episode will be or what might happen. They never shopped for a new TV or a flatscreen. They never thought about bandwidth or usage. There was no Hollywood and they never thought about what the stars were doing. They just went about living their lives — okay, they might have listened to the radio! — and they never talked about something they’d watched with their family or friends. They must have talked about other things.
Think of how much we refer to media in conversation. We do it to make analogies so that we understand each other. A friend recommended I watch Warm Bodies. It’s a love story about a young-man-zombie who falls in love with a normal twenty-something girl. He saves her life and cares for her, and she gradually starts to like him, too. As a result, he comes back to life and starts a biological/spiritual movement that sweeps through the zombie world, causing lots of others to remember their humanity and come back to life. It’s a great story, and because my friend and I shared the experience (even though we didn’t watch it together, we can talk about it now), we have all sorts of great zombie jokes and references.
It all seems harmless until we think about the deeper consequences. Watching a lot of media makes us think of our lives as if they were movies. We want to be entertained, informed, or get caught up in the drama, like when we watch media. We subconsciously expect everything we do to fall into one of those categories. We think of our life as it if had a plot. We hope there’s a happy ending. We want our love lives to be full of romance, and we want our vacations to be glamourous. We love hanging out with that funny friend of ours because he makes us laugh. If one day he goes through a tragedy and isn’t funny any more, we don’t know how to relate.
I wonder if too much media might make us seem less vibrant, more shallow. Comparing our lives with movies or TV can lead to discontentment. Of course, it’s not all bad if it gives us jokes and helps us relate. But if we need media to relate to one another we’re in trouble. I have an acquaintance that watches very different things than I do (I’m almost completely off-TV as it is), so it can be a challenge to find something to talk about. When we do find something, however, we have great, meaningful conversations — much deeper than which shows are good and which aren’t worth the time.
Another thing to consider is this: how would you cope without any media? Would you be able to have conversations with others? How would you keep yourself entertained or spend your time in general? Would it be so bad if you didn’t watch the news? You know I love making you think, and that’s really all I am doing in this post.
My Parents’ Visit June 23, 2013Posted by Teresa in Family, Friends, and Cat!, Ponder This.
Tags: family, genetics, love, loved ones, parents, relationships
My parents came to visit me a little while ago. They have always been great about coming to see me wherever I live. First, it was Sudbury, then High Level, and now Fort Simpson. They enjoy seeing the place I live and I think they enjoy hearing me ramble on as I give them the tour, sharing whatever local info I know, and telling them about the people I have met and the attitudes I have noticed. My parents are some pretty adventurous people! Don’t let the fact that they’ve lived in the same place for over 40 years fool you!
The instant I said hello to them and gave them each hugs, I felt like I was home. It was an interesting feeling — I felt at ease, like I could finally be myself. I had not noticed not being myself, but I guess I had pretenses and masks I was using. I guess we all do, and I realize how lucky I am to have such an awesome relationship with my parents.
I love them, of course, but it’s more than that. They are neat people. I like hanging around them. They have interests and hobbies, quirks and neat personalities. My mom likes to collect rocks from places she goes. My dad jokes about drinking Coke or Pepsi, calling it “the hard stuff,” and now his favourite is Dr. Pepper. Both like to read, albeit in totally different genres. Like me, my dad likes true stories, especially stories of pioneers, explorers and wildlife. My mom, surprisingly, likes crime fiction — the more suspense, the better! Mom is doing pretty well with technology, but like me, isn’t overly keen on it just for the sake of new technology. My dad pretty much stays away from the computer, which I understand. When they arrived, they were pretty tired from the crazy week leading up to their holiday, so we all had a nice, long nap in the afternoon. Man, I love napping! And so do they. Both of them have great senses of humour, and they even listen to my opinion on things and sometimes ask for my advice. They aren’t afraid to turn things on their side and look at them in a new way.
In so many ways, I am like them! I am unquestionably their daughter — like a hybrid between the two of them. I love a lot of the same things they love. I do all sorts of things the same way they do — from how I keep my recycling, to organizing my kitchen cupboards, to how I think about money. I suspect a lot of the similarities are genetic, but of course we have a lifetime of shared experiences, too. Perhaps it was our religion when I was growing up that taught us not to believe everything we hear or conform to the crowd. We can talk farm stuff, because we all “get it.” Try agricultural analogies with city people, and it’s like making Jesus references in a room full of tribal Africans. Even though my personal development has taken me down a different path, we still relate amazingly well.
I think what it boils down to is that everyone expects people to act like they do. One friend of mine brings me newspapers, not because I love newspapers, but because he does. Some people are rude because they expect rude behaviour (it’s great fun to be polite to them and throw them off their game). My parents expect me to be like them and I am, so there’s an amazing synergy. When we communicate, we intuitively understand each other. We can also spend time together without words. It’s incredibly special, something that only happens with friends after a lot of time together.
I am so amazingly lucky to have this relationship of respect, love and friendship with my parents. If I could show them how I feel, I would… and I guess I do. Mom, if you’re reading this, I know you’ll “get it.” And then you can print it out for Dad so he can read it, too.
The Solitaire Experiment June 7, 2013Posted by Teresa in Inspired by a book, Ponder This.
Tags: create your reality, law of attraction, mood, solitaire, vibration
add a comment
I enjoy playing Solitaire. Okay, sometimes, I don’t really enjoy it, but I play anyway, usually to kill a little time. [We're all killing something.]
This morning, I was in a bit of a foul mood, after reading something in the newspaper. It doesn’t really matter what created the mood, but let’s just say I was cursing in four-letter-words under my breath, over and over, incredulous and ticked off at the same time. I was even adding in religious curse words — that’s the kind of mood I was in.
So, to use up a little time, I started up a game of Solitaire. Only, this time, I decided to do an experiment.
In the past, I have noticed that my overall mood seems to affect the way my game of Solitaire goes. If I am in a crappy mood, I don’t seem to get any of the cards I need and it never takes very long before I’m stuck with no moves. If I am happy and looking forward to the future, it usually goes pretty well and I am able to win. So, with me cursing-in-my-head, I started a game. (To help you count ‘em, I’ll tag them like this: .) I’d never played in that state before, so I was curious about what would happen.
It went terribly, to say the least. I was only able to make 1 move from the starting cards, and I didn’t get a single ace in the face-down cards. In about 6 moves, I was stumped, although I kept cursing away and going through the dealt cards, hoping there was a move I hadn’t noticed.
So, I decided to do take-two of the experiment. I actually had to laugh at myself, cursing and clicking and cursing some more! So, my mood had lifted and I felt more-or-less “pleasant.”  I focused on this idea — being pleasant, having a pleasant day — for a moment before starting a new game, and kept that word and general mood humming along as I played. The game went quite a bit better. I had about 7 starting moves from the cards dealt, and by the time I had gone through all the face-down cards once, I had made several more moves and had all 4 aces up. But I wasn’t able to win. I made quite a few moves, but in a typical way, I got stumped later on.
I wondered why I didn’t win when I was “pleasant?” I decided that the underlying mood was more of boredom than happiness. So, I decided to try the “boredom” vibe  for round three and see how it compared.
It was very similar; I made a few moves off the start and had 3 aces before the face-down cards were done. I made quite a few more moves, got a couple of chains started, but I just wasn’t getting the cards I needed. I was so bored!
A little bit of time passed — I started writing up this article — and I started round four. I mustered up the most positive, eagerly-anticipating-all-the-awesome-things-to-come feeling,  sat with it a moment (the same amount of time as I had for round 2 and 3 preparation), and started up. I had one ace in the first lay-up, which is always a nice bonus, and about 3 initial moves. After that, for the first 10 face-down cards, I was able to play each and every one. I tried to keep the positive vibes going. It was going quite well! But, for some reason, I still wasn’t able to win the game.
What was going on? Why couldn’t I win with those amazing vibes I had going on? Maybe they weren’t real? Maybe I was fooling myself? Maybe it was just too far to go from cursing up a blue streak to pure positivity in less than half an hour, or from boredom to chipper in ten minutes.
I took a break, and did something I enjoy (knitting), and let my mind relax. I realized I was actually kind of tired and a little hungry, and my overall state could be described as tired-but-okay.  So, another round.
It went moderately. Not nearly as smoothly as my positive round; it was very similar to “pleasant.” By the time I was stumped, I only had one ace up, 4 small chains underway, but I was just not getting the cards I needed. My mind had wandered to family illnesses and conversations from yesterday. I was pensive, not positive, and my Solitaire game showed it well.
Was I playing badly? Not particularly. Was I making mistakes? No. The cards just weren’t coming up right. Something that by all accounts should be random wasn’t — the cards were worse when my mood was poor. I decided to try one last round, with the best attitude I could muster without faking.
I gave myself another break. I really spent some time appreciating the day — the sun, the clouds. I had some chocolate, sat in a sunny window, and did a few light exercises to get my blood flowing — all the things that I know help my mood improve. I was feeling pretty good when a friend called. He always makes me laugh and we have such great banter, I decided to play a game with that light-hearted, appreciative feeling going on.  While we were chatting, laughing and teasing each other, I started up a new game. Can you guess what happened?
I won. It wasn’t the absolute best game I ever played, but I had all four aces by the end of the first run through the deck, and a few good chains on the go. Almost every card I flipped over was playable. I had to do a little fiddling to get to the last few cards — if you play Solitaire, you know what I mean — but it wasn’t hard. It was play!
My Solitaire experiment showed that my mood has everything to do with the “random” way the cards are dealt, and I am far more likely to win when I am upbeat and positive. I can even use Solitaire to gauge my mood — a “mood-o-meter”of sorts — as the progression of the game is directly related to how I am feeling. When I am bored or bummed-out, I won’t get far. When I make efforts to feel better, the game goes better. And lest you think I am a totally crappy scientist, drawing conclusions from only 6 samples, let me say that I have actually noticed this trend over hundreds of games over the last year or so. When I feel better, the cards come up better and I play better.
Can you see the profound wisdom that comes out of this experiment?
- Things that you think are random are not.
- You affect everything in your surroundings and your life.
- Your mood indicates where you’re at and what kind of things you can expect to come your way, from random things to proactive things.
- You can change your mood and therefore change your life at any time.
- Your mood is not a result of what happens to you; it causes what happens to you.
- In scientific terms, your mood is an independent variable. You pick how you want to feel.
- A playful attitude is crucial to being successful and happy!
This is the Law of Attraction at work, yet again! How you feel, or in metaphysical terms “vibrate,” is the direct cause of things that happen in your life. The Universe brings you what you ask for, whether you are asking in words or, more importantly, in vibration. You can’t fool the Universe, as was evident when I tried to muster up “pleasant” but was really stuck near “bored.” The game went accordingly. You have to play your way to a truly better mood to see the results!
Ode to an Old Cell Phone June 5, 2013Posted by Teresa in Ponder This.
add a comment
Your tiny screen,
Your many keys,
Your profile in curves…
Your beauty does not compare
To devices modern or flashy.
Your analog signal and extendable antenna
Gave me comfort on many a long night,
For you were eager to flip open,
Always there for me.
Oh how I tapped your buttons!
To spell out the simplest messages,
I tapped and tapped!
Such great times we had together,
As we discovered the joys of text messaging!
How we laughed together!
How we sighed together!
But we couldn’t check our email together.
Nor could we browse,
Post Facebook updates,
Or play games…
Yet life was like a game with you at my side.
Sure, I left you places,
I forgot to charge you,
But never did I drop you, and you rewarded me
With seven glorious years of dedicated service.
I didn’t like when people laughed at you –
They didn’t know what we had been through together.
They hadn’t seen the things we’d seen.
How you would take lovely, grainy photos,
And how I kept them to myself –
Precious secrets treasured, never shared.
Oh, the special times we had,
Of joy, and peace and communication!
How I will miss your flipping action,
And never will I blame you for my thumb getting arthritis.
For you were only being yourself,
Your glorious, silver self.
No more will I press your buttons and
Extend your antenna,
Yet ever will I remember you,
My old Sanyo cell phone.
Chippendales, Here I Come… Not. May 18, 2013Posted by Teresa in Ponder This.
Tags: obesity, oogling, overweight, sex drive, sexual abuse, sexy
add a comment
I caught myself oogling a man today.
This isn’t my usual behaviour, but it was nice and warm out, he was wearing a T-shirt, carrying a heavy bag and there were muscles bulging, etc… I had better stop there before this starts to sound like a crappy harlequin novel!
So what’s up with that — me oogling a man? You know, men have been oogling women since the beginning of time, more or less (I wasn’t there, so I can’t say for sure), but women oogling men is fairly new, in the last 20-or-so years. (Googling is an even newer phenomena, but it’s a natural extension of oogling.) So why do we oogle? Have women just learned how to oogle from men — taken their example and run with it? Think muscly, bow-tie-sporting, greased up men in bikini underwear… doesn’t it seem like something a man would come up with? Not very different from strippers in a brothel — and brothels go way back. Or is the half-naked firefighter calendar and Chippendale dancer phenomena a direct result of that scientific study — don’t ask me who did the research — that said women’s sex drive peaks in their 30′s? It seems to me before the study results were released, women didn’t worry or think much about their sex drive, but hey, since we finally got it, let’s give it a spin!?
Well, whatever the reason, I’m not going to let oogling become a habit. I know I don’t overly appreciate being looked up and down by men just because I wore something that actually shows my body shape. So, I don’t want to do it to the opposite sex. Heck, I’ve even done it to other women — noticed a nice body. Crazy.
I think that most men would at this point say not to worry, it’s a harmless look. But it’s a harmless look that men don’t have to put up with — a-ha! Maybe the Chippendale phenomena is women giving men a taste of their own medicine. How do they like being judged on how they look? Only considered sexy if they show some skin? Scorned because of a few extra pounds?
I had a startling and vivid dream a few weeks ago, and as clear as if someone spoke directly into my brain, I heard a female voice say “if only I were fat, then they would leave me alone.”
Wow. So that is why some women make themselves so overweight — they want certain men in their lives to leave them alone. In the context of the dream, it meant to stop sexually abusing them, but it could apply to any unwanted attention — even oogling.
Too many young girls have to grow up faster than they ought to because they have to learn how to deflect unwanted, inappropriate attention. It’s ALL unwanted attention — make no mistake. They want to just be girls and not have to deal with sexual, womanly things. In a loving, child-safe environment, they can grow up to be healthy people with a good body-image.
In my perfect world, people see each other’s inside as well and their outside. We all want to get to know each other and be friends, or at least, have friendly interactions. Men and women alike don’t have to be overly concerned with their appearances. We appreciate each other’s whole selves.
I don’t want to live in a world where people look at each other as a side of beef, so I’m changing the way I think about it. After this blog post, I’ll be giving much less attention to it, wearing whatever I like and being oblivious to any looks I get. I’m really good at being oblivious, so it should work out pretty well.
Your thoughts? Is oogling harmless or degrading? Are we as a society becoming more shallow?
(Men are becoming far more concerned with appearances, too, if toupees are any indication of the craziness. I mean, who first said “I’m so embarrassed to be going bald, I’m going to put this rug on my head”?!?)
Never Cry Wolf May 15, 2013Posted by Teresa in Adventures, Inspired by a book, Ponder This.
Tags: activism, caribou, culture, environment, extinction, farley mowat, First Nations, hunting, judging others, killing, NWT, populations, trigger happy, wastage, waste, wolves, Wrigley
1 comment so far
I recently finished reading Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat. I bought it at a used book store, and the copyright in my book says 1963, 1973 and 1993, but it must be out of print now. I’m pretty sure my parents hid this book from me when I was growing up. They must have known the effect it would have on me, and they probably didn’t wish to lose their daughter to the wilds of northern Canada for years at a time. Well, they weren’t able to avoid that altogether, but at least I have the technology to keep in touch with them.
Since living in Wrigley, my curiosity about wolves has been piqued. They are often talked about, because they are never very far away. At the airport, which is about 2 km from Wrigley, the wolves were coming onto the runway on the weekends and chewing on the wires going to some of the runway edge lights. When it’s particularly cold in winter, they come closer to town and sometimes attack and eat the local dogs. In December, wolves killed the alpha dog in town — dogs there run in packs and are not very far removed from wild, wolfish behaviour. In fact, some of what Farley Mowat talks about has helped me relate to dogs better, such as reading their facial expressions and understanding that they live by their own, non-human code. They have their own reasons for doing things, because of their canine culture.
I can see why this book is considered a classic! It is an excellent read. Farley is a phenomenal storyteller, and his story is a fantastic one. He is dropped off by a kamikaze bush pilot at an unknown frozen lake somewhere off the map in Northern Manitoba. His mission is to study wolves, their feeding habits and appetite for caribou. He plans to live among the wolves. Does that mean he crawls in their dens? Only once, and his reaction to what he finds within shakes him to the core. He adapts himself to the wolves’ ways — he learns to take wolf-naps so that he can observe them for long periods of time continuously without getting tired. And when the caribou return from their wintering grounds, he discovers, contrary to what the government has been told, that wolves are not responsible for the decline in caribou population.
Fast forward 50+ years, to this year, 2013. What is on the cover of the news/north newspaper this week?
Fifty years have gone by and the problem remains! Farley Mowat correctly identified the cause of the caribou slaughter when he found a field of caribou bones near a trapper’s shack — the trapper was killing hundreds of caribou a year to feed his sled dogs. Back then, they used nearly the whole animal, but now, killing for the sake of killing makes me ill. Trigger happy people should go to a gun range and shoot paper targets, not beautiful, majestic creatures. And there are a lot of trigger happy people in the North, and they think they can get away with it, and they think they have a right to kill what they want, and they do it because their twisted sense of humanity thinks it is fun. That newspaper article speaks of 50+ animals killed with only very small portions being taken for food, a practice very much against what the elders teach. (Wolves, by contrast, kill very few caribou, and only the weak and elderly ones, and, of course, eat it all.)
Part of me desperately hopes they find out who did it all (the carcasses were found in 12 different sites, so it was probably lots of different people), and part of me knows it won’t help. Not unless the local people — the people from that community — decide it is definitely wrong and their internal culture changes. Part of me thinks that if no witnesses will come forward — and who would want to rat on their friends and family? — then the whole community should lose its caribou hunting rights. They have a grocery store; let them buy their meat there. But, that’s our ugly friend colonialism back for a visit, telling native populations what to do and disciplining them like they are children. No, the government needs to stop interfering and the people who live there need to start acting like responsible, life-respecting adults. Own up to what you have done. Admit you feel bad about it (if you do, don’t lie if you don’t). Stop killing just because you can.
I would love to ask one of these trigger happy people “what will you do when all the caribou are gone? Elsewhere in Canada, when the native animals were killed off, domestic animals were brought in. Beef replaced buffalo, pigs in place of antelope. Are you going to become farmers? That will be challenging with the wolves and bears and so much wilderness. Will you cut down all the trees to make fields? Will you grow crops to feed your cows?”
It would be infinitely better if those who live among the caribou could learn to appreciate what they have in them — an amazing, healthy food source — and protect the caribou population, to prevent their extinction. I am a stranger in a strange land; I am not from here. I wasn’t raised among the caribou, among the wolves. I was raised on a farm (which you may have already guessed), so if I want to be an activist, I should do so in the realm where my heritage is — agriculture in Canada. To be an activist here makes me judgmental, as so many environmental activists who go far from home to make a stand are. And I do have some thoughts about agriculture in Canada… but they will have to wait for another day.
Am I a Part of the Problem? May 5, 2013Posted by Teresa in Ponder This.
I had a visit from two friends recently, Shelly and Billy*. Well, they aren’t quite friends, but more than mere acquaintances… shall we say “afrientances?” I was in Wrigley, and they came over to see if I was interested in buying any of their crafts. They make jewellery, beaded leather card holders, dreamcatchers and other native crafts. Oh, did I forget to mention they are First Nations people? Shelly’s beadwork is truly lovely, and Billy is no slump with the stone work!
So, I decided to buy a pair of earrings. They are little white stone polar bears, very cute. I suddenly realized, before I went to get the money, that I was basically Shelly and Billy’s bank. They wanted to buy some booze (on the black market, there is no liquor store here) and they were out of cash. It is relatively easy for them to pop over for a visit and sell something to get some money. Now, don’t get me wrong — we did have a nice little visit, and sometimes they come over just for tea as well, no crafts for sale.
While we were visiting, Shelly told me about her sister who passed away about five years ago. She had received a big settlement from the residential school abuse cases that are making their way though the courts and she died shortly after. She drank herself to death. And here I am, a willing participant in Shelly and Billy’s little charade — “would you like to buy some earrings I made?” “Why, I’d love to!” — all the while pretending I don’t know what the money is going for. I don’t feel very good about it, frankly.
Apparently, Shelly is waiting to get her settlement soon. I don’t look forward to the day. So many people who received huge sums of money have lost it all in such a short time. It’s a bit like people who win a lottery — some can handle it, but most can’t. How to spend and budget with such big numbers? Then relatives and fair-weather friends come out of nowhere asking for money, and to be a scrooge feels bad, but to give it all haphazardly away is not good either.
What a fine mess we have in this country, when it comes to Native issues, poverty and residential schools! The First Nations people who were horribly mistreated deserve something, but huge sums of money just adds to many of their problems. The jaded, skeptical side of me thinks the government doesn’t care and is happy to hand over the money and watch the mayhem. But I know that isn’t true — the residential school victims want that money. It’s not being forced on them. And I’m sure some people in the government would like to help, but it’s a messed up system.
When it comes to money, some people, including Aboriginals, can be so strange. They will share food, shelter, heat, rides (vehicles), but when it comes to money, they want to count every bit and make sure they are always getting ahead. They sometimes lose sight of what is fair, in business and in life, and just want more, more, more. It’s especially noticeable to me because I seem to allow myself to lose money, in particular, when I am enjoying what I am doing. (I’m not sure where this quirk came from, but I’m looking into it!)
So what to do? The government has messed up this situation so much, but what is a government but a group of people? I think it’s safe to say the colonization of Canada is a complete success. Colonization has taken away much of the Aboriginals’ original nature of sharing, working together, and responsible use of the land and made them just like us — greedy, money-hungry, alcoholics.
Oh dear, what tangent have I gone off on? That’s the jaded, skeptical Teresa talking. Here’s what I know is true:
What is past is past, so we must move on.
We would all do well to reconnect with our roots, or at least the noble parts of our heritage that we want to have (and forget the ignoble parts).
We can’t go back and make a brand new start, but we can start from here and make a brand new end.
So, when I bought those cute, polar bear earrings, was I part of the problem? I don’t know. Is it complicated? You bet. I’m just not sure how I can act differently now that I’ve had this realization and online confession. I guess before, when I was unaware of how Shelly and Billy were going to use the money, I wasn’t part of the problem. Now, I am. (Ignorance is bliss, isn’t it?) Then again, am I the beer police? If someone wants a few beers, is it my job to stop them? Not really. But if that person also gets violent and nasty when he drinks a few beers (or more, whatever), and I was the one who gave him those beers, indirectly or directly, how am I not a party to that? There is so much judgement going on, and I try very hard not to judge others — what they do, why they do it, or how they spend their money — but I am forced to judge myself on this.
So I suppose the question remains — how am I going to decline the purchase of any more crafts? Politely, sure. Will I mention the real reason I don’t want to buy any, or will I make up some alternate excuse? Hard to say. Maybe I just won’t bring cash any more… I’ll bankrupt the bank.
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -
*names have been changed, just ’cause.
The Big Thaw, Part Two May 4, 2013Posted by Teresa in Ponder This.
add a comment
Climate change. Global warming. Something is definitely afoot, and something underfoot has given me inspiration and a clue about how to reduce the impact of global warming.
Anyone who lives in Canada, or any part of the world that has snow, knows that dirty snow melts first. The snow in the ditch that gets sand or dust on it melts faster than white, untouched snow on lawns or in the bush, because the darker colour causes the sun’s radiation to be absorbed instead of reflected. This got me to thinking about climate change and glaciers melting. I realized three things:
- There is a huge increase in air pollution in the last 150 years.
- We now know that air pollution is quickly distributed throughout the whole planet. (African dust has been found in Texas. Radiation from Japan has been detected all over.)
- Global air pollution settles everywhere and causes the dirty snow (glaciers, ice caps, etc) to melt quicker.
It’s not rocket science. We need to improve our air quality! It would improve our health as well as our planet’s health. Now, with more and more vehicles on the road and no end in sight for other industrial endeavours, it seems like a hopeless battle.
So, here’s a crazy idea: why not put our considerable engineering prowess to work on some really big outdoor air purifiers? It would seem logical that the big polluters would take the lead on this, and if we can make huge factories, smelters, and oil refineries, why can’t we make some large-scale industrial air purifiers to work on removing particles from the air?
Well, a short Google search reveals that a little work has already been done on this. Check out this page and these photos of green walls and projects in Mexico City.
If you know of any really big outdoor air purifiers being designed or built, please post about it in the comments!