Here I go again, getting all serious. The world is in chaos right now and it is becoming more and more impossible and unwise to ignore it. Pandemic numbers continue to climb everywhere, there is government infighting in Ottawa and Alberta, labour unrest is rampant, hatred and racial injustice abound on both sides of the border, conspiracy theories abound and do not even get me started on the 2020 U.S. election campaign shenanigans. As a Canadian observing the unpredictable chaos swirling around me, I often feel like a fly on a horse’s ass. I know if I sit still long enough, the horse’s tail will swipe me off into oblivion. So, I keep moving, watching the news feeds and the news stories, like a fly looking out of the corner of his eye, hoping that the next swipe of the horse’s tail will not make me collateral damage. I am growing so weary of it all.
As new parents, 34 years ago, no instruction manual was provided with our newborns and back then, we had little clue how things might turn out in the long term, but we had determination and the will to move forward in the right direction. Sure, we made a few mistakes early on, but we learned from them.
As the kids got older, we fought the urge to use the word “No” too frequently, not always successfully, I might add. Our long term strategy, when it came to a difference of opinion with our boys, ended up being that they had a choice in their actions, but that each choice came with consequences. In one case, the choice may have been to spend all their allowance money on the first thing they saw and the consequence was that they would have no money until next month and that we would not spot them an advance.
On our hikes over the past few days, I took these photos, including this truly blurry one of a bald eagle flying through our river valley. Seeing a bald eagle flying free, inside the city is rare and is a sight to be enjoyed. The eagle was crystal clear to my eye, and I could hear the words from my Patty ringing in my ears “You don’t always need to take a photo of everything, just enjoy it with your eyes”. Yet, I still raised the camera to my eye, for what I thought was a perfect shot. On review, I was convinced it was crystal clear in my small viewfinder, but my computer at home showed me otherwise. Perhaps, that is the lesson my blurry shot was trying to teach me, thus helping me see more clearly. Our choices do not always give us the best outcome and consequences may apply. In my case, the consequences were not serious.
Why am I still rambling on? I guess I am trying to say, that as humans, the “creator” (whichever one you believe or do not believe in) gave us all “free will”, the freedom to make our own choices and trusted that we would use this gift wisely. It is the greatest gift we will ever get, but with this gift, comes the risk of consequences. Unlike my photo choice, the consequences, these days are much more serious:
- ignore the local rules for combatting Covid 19 to assert your right to freedom and enjoyment and risk penalties, including illness or death
- as a world leader, downplay the pandemic, delay or refuse government assistance to those suffering from the effects of lockdown for the sake of political opportunity and face massive health, economic and social disasters.
- put personal wealth and power ahead of society’s health and well-being and risk being voted out
- pretend racial and social injustice do not exist and be faced with continued demonstrations and riots
In all these cases, the obvious path is often the hardest of all to follow, but, it IS obvious. We all have to try harder to do the right thing for society and for the right reasons, myself included.
Choice and Consequences
Around us these days, chaos rising to a roar,
anger, meanness, impatience, all three at its core.
Ev’ryone trying to grab onto more and more
freedoms, wealth, power, like they are keeping score.
Waves of common sense, lapping at far away shore,
once again giving a chance to choose the right door,
follow fall leaves, quickly decaying on ground or
rise above all the noise, like an eagle to soar.