I didn’t know where the paper came from. I even thought maybe it was targeted to my house. However, I soon learned that it was distributed over much of the Comox Valley –well one person told me it was being distributed to homes all over Canada and—likely—all over North America. I decided to do a little internet sleuthing.
A new set of data came out last week from Canadians for Tax Fairness. The number of billionaires in Canada has doubled between 2010 and 2019. The top 1 % now control up to 26 % of Canada’s economy, while the poorest 50% have seen their share drop to 4.7%. In spite of these numbers, the top 1 % continue to balk and complain about taxes being too high and threaten to take their wealth off-shore where there are more lenient tax laws. Our governments continue to allow this to happen claiming that letting billionaires keep their money is good for the economy because of the trickledown effect. But there is no trickle-down effect.
So much energy, so much blessed energy,
propels the young to excel at something,
a place to call home, a cause to celebrate,
a purpose to explore, meaning to be felt,
feelings to be understood and enlivened
with the passion of a race in time.
Few people know that handwriting is more than a means of communication. It’s actually a graphic picture of processes going on in the brain. You may have noticed how your writing has changed over the years or how it looked different when you were going through a challenging time.
What distresses me about Courtenay is the nearly complete ignorance of the Comox Valley Sustainability Strategy (CVSS). This 2010 document was developed as a consensus by a large team of volunteers, by community vetting of all of its proposals, by councilors and staff from all the Comox Valley municipalities and the regional district, by a highly skilled team of professionals with expertise in planning for sustainable communities. No Comox Valley municipal direction document has ever been so visionary nor so widely vetted and agreed on.
These times of isolation are giving us an opportunity to listen to parts of our being which are often ignored because our minds run the show. When there isn’t any distraction, our hearts start to whisper and tell us about our dreams and goals which we would still like to experience. These whispers can become persistent and create either motivation or regrets.
The implication to me is that as a society we are missing a great opportunity to access the combined intelligence and compassion from our senior population. We can take a lesson from our indigenous communities who consider the role of the elder as a sacred time. We can include seniors in the decision making process as guides on the side. We can put them in positions to instruct and lead through the powers of compassion and wisdom. When it comes for care of the elderly, we can give them all an opportunity to continue to find meaning and purpose in day to day living. We can scientifically go about giving them opportunities to grow and keep their memories intact through appropriate exercise and a well-rounded diet. In other words we treat them as valued human beings.
Gardening has taught me that in order to assure a good crop, I must prepare the soil, choose good seed, plant it, and then wait for the shoots to come up. I cannot stand there and shout: “Come on, grow, now!” Yet sometimes I do just that, pushing and struggling, and stressing myself out when I’m in a situation which is not moving forward fast enough for my taste such as seeing a client’s health improve, learning a new computer skill, and so on.
Compassion separates us from the animal kingdom and even from the parameters of normal human functioning. We are not compassionate to gain approval from others or even to satisfy the needs of our ego. It is not a feel good activity in the sense that we experience pleasure when we are sharing our resources with those who have less. It is not about casting out the feelings of guilt when we have more than we need and others are barely surviving. It is not even feeling better when we get rid of the feelings of feeling guilty. If we have abundance, we simply have abundance. It is what it is. Whether we share our abundance or not is not really compassion in and of itself. Compassion is not part of the process of balance that is needed for a healthy mind; although in true compassion, the mind does comes along for the ride.
Though I have been critical of the Green Party in Canada under the centrist vision of Annamie Paul and the seeming inability of the BC Greens to see that a healthy province/world is more important than simply milking resentment in order to win a few seats in the BC legislature, I offer these criticisms only because I wish them great success in transforming our world into a more just, sustaining, AND sustainable place for us to live in and for our children to inherit.