I badly had to clear my head this morning. So – because hiking is the answer to everything – I took Abby up the Westwood Ridges. We hiked up and down for almost three hours. And yes, Abby was done by then. This is about the limit of what she can do now. But she loved it.
So did I. As usual, being outside, being with nature – and the rhythm of the walk soothed my troubled mind/heart.
Here’s the thing. Being human, I crave support, love, approval – all the usual things. And then I get caught up in the world, especially the online world – and I sometimes get anything but approval – big time disapproval I would say.
I have sharply different views from some people I genuinely love and care about. When those people disapprove of me – or, more accurately, of what I’m putting out there, it bothers me. I don’t have armour. I am not thick-skinned.
I want to listen. I want to be open to other viewpoints. At the same time, I have strong convictions (political and environmental). My question: should I simply stop? Should I be quiet? After all, from what I have seen, speaking up doesn’t change anyone’s mind.
I look at the posts from some of my American friends (progressives) and the attacks that come at them – whew!
For me, it started with Alberta – with Wexit – with pointing out that Alberta had squandered its heritage fund and now, in harder times, has nothing to fall back on. And so they blame the federal government and form a Wexit movement. I’m not terribly enamoured of the entire victim thing.
Of course, I get equally critical – probably more so – of our own government in BC – squandering our forests – building LNG. And then there’s Doug Ford’s government in Ontario. Bottom line? Almost every government on the planet, bought and paid for by the very rich who care only about lining their pockets and care nothing for the millions of people suffering now – and whose suffering will worsen with climate change.
Our rich and our governments don’t seem to care a fig about the climate emergency that is right here right now.
And this is the stuff I post on Facebook and maybe I should just stop.
Because I am probably not thick-skinned enough for politics. Although I really, really do want to help the BC Ecosocialist Party in any way I can.
I want to make a difference, no matter how small. Perhaps I should not silence my voice?
These are questions I ask myself.
And as I do, I think about Great Thunberg, and other brave people like her – how courageous she is to speak truth to power and to never waver. Does she ache at times? Does she wonder sometimes if it’s worth it? Does she hurt when people protest against her and lie about her?
I don’t know how she feels. I just know that she keeps going.
How careful do I want to be with my words? If I am very careful, I will likely not offend anyone. But is that how I want to live my life?
For now the best answer I have is to keep speaking – making sure that what I say is not just an opinion – but that the words are based in fact. I also want to be sure about my purpose in speaking – am I venting or do I hope that I might make a difference? I would rather come from a solution based viewpoint. I think that’s important.
I need to be honest – most of all, honest with myself.