The World that I See

I see the wounded child in you
and my heart breaks.
I see poverty
surrounded by yachts and private jets.
I see people fighting demons of despair
without any help from those who care.
I see people choosing
a life-ending ride to pleasure
because they cannot bear
the hopelessness,
the helplessness,
that exposes their souls
to a world of nothingness.
And I wonder if those in power
will ever see
the world that I see.

I see people watching,
laughing,
about what they see on an a 3 by 6 inch screen,
pretending that the world is just a big funny,
weird things done by cats,
weird things done by dogs.
And I wonder if those who decide
who will be in power
will ever see
the world that I see.

My heart weeps for the destruction,
a hole in my luscious English garden,
an eyesore,
a heartsore,
an embarrassment,
that makes me weep
so shamefully,
that I am forced to turn away,
abandoning my beautiful plants
to an environment
overheated,
under-watered,
a place where all that is putrid and poisonous
is allowed to contaminate the place
where I live and breathe.
And I wonder if those in power
will ever see
the world that I see.

The Sad State of Politics

I almost didn’t vote, but I decided that if people like me do not express our hopes and dreams, then people LIKE THEM would rule in my place. And then I caught myself being emotional, letting my fear and anger rule my mind and heart. So I decided to take a last minute look at the issues, take the emotion out of it, and try to see what each party and each candidate was offering that was in line with my ideals and hopes for my community, my province, and my country.

I hated this last election which never should have been called in the first place. We, the people, had spoken. We had chosen a minority government that put in place additional checks and balances on the party in power. We did not want them to have a majority, a full mandate to engineer our society by representing certain ideals and desires of a certain segment of the population and economy. We wanted slow and cautious government that made rational decisions based on legitimate scientific data, good intentions, and proper oversight. We wanted a minority government where the people in power had to listen to various views, gain support of those who were not part of their ideology, and make cautious decisions for the good of the whole. But the party in power ignored the will of the people and called a quick election in the midst of a pandemic in the hopes of gaining a majority government. And the other parties reacted with glee, an opportunity to gain power and further the acceptance of their ideals.

Politics is not meant to be a popularity contest where we elect people with good looks and stage presence who can entertain us. It is not designed to take advantage of the emotions generated by groups of angry people who feel they are not being heard. It is not intended to develop a strategy to intimidate those who disagree with us. It is not supposed to be aimed at playing upon the anger generated by special interest groups to generate fear to influence the decisions of the majority of citizens. There is no place for storming a capitol because the outgoing president wants to hold on to power. There is no place for throwing gravel or a container of wheat at a prime minister because we feel they are not addressing our special interests. It is not about generating hate ads. It is not about trolling on social media to incite hate and gather people to obstruct a political process. It is not about flooding Instagram and Facebook with ads that interfere with our access to the antics of our grandchildren. It is not about manipulation for the sake of power.

Good politics should be rational and boring. If it is done right, it only requires minor changes. Legislation is started by looking at what is already in place and re-evaluating it only as necessary due to changes in society, the economy, and the environment. It should be small changes based on new evidence but always keeping at the core a set of values defined by our concern for each other, our constitution, and our Bill of Rights. It is people with knowledge and wisdom who sit in hallowed halls digesting carefully and scientifically gathered unbiased data, and sharing legitimate ideas and opinions on how to make our community, our province, and our country a better place to live. It is a world where those entrusted with power present different viewpoints coming from different life-experiences who approach a problem with the purpose of arriving at a sound solution for the benefit of all. It is a place where we leave our emotions of fear and hate behind at the door and try to listen and speak with rational thoughts and an open heart. It is where the will, the hopes, and the dreams of the people are heard compassionately. It is being part of a process of arriving at a decision from the minds, hearts, and souls of all our citizens, especially those on the fringe who are most vulnerable. It is a combination of compassion and rational thought in action. It is where those in power see the world as we, the citizens, see it.