Tide Change publishes submissions from a variety of authors whose work we admire and words we feel are relevant to our readers. Please note that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.
Staying alert and noticing what I am thinking isn’t always easy but I can catch myself when I go off on a tangent where I feel discontent about a situation or sorry about myself. In the company of others whose main occupation is to complain about everyone and everything I get lost sometimes in the temptation to join them. But there is a thermostat inside me which creates a sense of yucky discomfort and forces me to take myself onto a higher vibration like gratitude or compassion.
So where is the compassion? Politics is supposed to be by the people for the people. Laws are supposed to be enacted to guide the government to make life better for all citizens not just the middle and upper classes. The purpose is to create a society where all citizens have equal opportunity to share in the resources of the nation. The ruling party is to rule with compassion and guide towards those aims. The role of the opposition is to observe what the ruling party is doing and to provide a system of checks and balances while proposing an alternate and sometimes better way of achieving those aims.
CBC Marketplace discovered that a shocking 85% of Ontario nursing homes repeatedly broke the Long-Term Care Homes Act (LTCHA) with practically no consequences. They found over 30,000 violations between 2015 and 2019. Some of the most serious offences included physical abuse, inadequate infection control, unsafe medication storage, inadequate hydration, and poor skin and wound care. In addition to abuse, there was just plain neglect which included failure to provide baths, not changing diapers for hours, and instances where the client is left in bed all day lying on their back on an open bedsore. In one case, a video showed several different employees yanking on the client’s arms, swatting her hands, rubbing spilled food in her face, or yelling at her as she lay in bed. It would appear that non-compliance with the law has become the norm within Ontario care homes.
While I can understand/sympathize with the hope that rail service might, one day, return to Vancouver Island, I find the whole Island Corridor Foundation fiasco to be just short of contemptible–using rights to the rail bed as collateral that could preempt other, more productive uses of the rail bed. I find it impossible to imagine a way that the dilapidated infrastructure could have been realistically reopened as a viable rail line. One short walk down the rail bed south of Courtenay would have revealed the extent to which the rail has become inoperable as a rail line.
A Vancouver-based research project gave 50 homeless people $7,500 and tracked their progress for a year. Results were compared to a control group of 65 homeless people who received typical services. Those who received the money managed it well over the course of a year. They moved into stable housing after an average of three months, compared to an average of five month for the control group. Almost 70 per cent were food secure after one month. They spent 52 per cent of their money on food and rent, 15 per cent on other items such as medications and bills, and 16 per cent on clothes and transportation. Some were even able to retain over $1,000 afterr the 12 month period.
Since I have developed a live wire to the Universe, I’m often surprised how fast help arrives in certain situations where I really wouldn’t have known what to do in the first place. It sometimes boggles my mind how it all works.
We have grown up confident that our scientific capabilities and technology will keep us safe. But it is very apparent that they are not keeping protecting us from certain things. In fact, some of the technologies that scientists have helped develop are at the root of our problems. We are in a situation that psychologists call cognitive dissonance.
It is generally accepted that there are three kinds of empathy: cognitive, emotional, and compassionate. Cognitive empathy is the ability to understand what someone else might be thinking, and as such, it is more like intuition than empathy. However, cognitive empathy essentially adds the ability to respond at a deeper level. Emotional empathy is the ability to sense someone’s feelings. It helps us build a temporary emotional bond or connection. Compassionate empathy moves us to help in whatever way we can. Essentially it is the feeling that goes along with acts of compassion.
If I were to grade Courtenay Council for its efforts over the past two years, I think they would get a C+ from me. It certainly has been commendable to have a council that is generally amiable among themselves and open to input from citizens ( something that definitely could not be said of the past council—esp. mayor).