"As for being cynical, I'd be proud of that: the cynics are always the greatest optimists - they see things as they COULD be, then they see things as they ARE, and they wonder 'what the heck is going on around here?' Hence, cynicism."
Patrick Maloney, London Free Press political reporter, London Ontario
Hope you are well.
The above was part of a bit of correspondence I had recently with a local reporter who is keeping in the public eye the bad behaviour of some of London Ontario's city councillors.
The councillors do not get along, at all. Council is split along lines of urban-sprawl-and-development-reigns versus common sense and listening to what citizens in their neighbourhoods want. They yell at each other at meetings. They are beyond rude to each other. If they were in kindergarden, half of them would be on "time outs" at any given time ... heck, there'd be parent-teacher meetings and child psychologists working with each of them.. Oh, and we have a mayor who is involved with (what may turn out to be) shady businesses and who has had some criminal charges laid against him ... and he's not going to step down until things are sorted out. (I wonder if London's chief financial officer would be coming in to work if he'd had charges laid against him by the tax office? Or if the mayor would want his grandchildren in a class where the teacher had been charged with, well, anything.)
I like Maloney's explanation of cynicism.
I certainly wonder what the heck is going on at City Hall these days, and wonder what the heck is going on with climate change talks, international take-overs of local resources, employment rates, seed manipulation, toxins in air, water and soil, dumbing down of just about everything, violence (the recent massacre of children in Connecticut), too much advertising, ... there are too many "what the hecks" to list.
And I know things could be different. People are capable of being compassionate and kind with each other, of making practical decision that are good for everyone involved, of sharing. Just watch how this Christmas the last calls to local Sally Anns and food banks will meet the needs.
So why aren't we moving forward on the coulds?
I don't have a definite, short answer. Wish I did. Sorry.
What I can give, right now, however, is mention that I just read a good interview with Vandana Shiva in Yes! Manazine. I particularly loved this line:
The forest teaches us enoughness: as a principle of equity, how to enjoy the gifts of nature without exploitation and accumulation.
Yes! has in its description that it "reframes the biggest problems of our time in terms of their solutions ... [outlining] ... "a path forward with in-depth analysis, tools for citizen engagement, and stories about real people working for a better world." A print edition is available by subscription, and some articles are available free on the website.
A good read to give a good example of "could be" is worth a lot.
I hope you have your own examples, or have a few minutes to follow these.
... and thanks Patrick!
Very best regards, as always!
Vandana Shiva: Evernything I need to know I learned in the forest.
Yes! magazine: www.yesmagazine.org