Monday Morning Musings

Posted on September 17, 2018 under Monday Morning Musings with 2 comments

What would Moses Coady think?


For six years, I have been writing about the lighter side of life. If today happens to be your first trip aboard the good ship “Week45”, I want you to know that this is far from a typical post. I normally avoid talking about politics at all costs. People tend to be very polarized on this subject. My views might cost me a few readers but once in a while, one feels compelled to speak up, maybe even scream in despair.

“Where have all the leaders gone, long time passing? Where have all the leaders gone, long time ago”? This is my cheeky paraphrase of the song “Where have all the flowers gone” popularized by Peter, Paul and Mary back in the 1960s.

I will leave it to the experts to tell us how we have arrived at a time where people holding the levers of power in many parts of the world, particularly in democratic countries, seem intent on unravelling decades of progress.

I am not an American. I have never lived in the United States. Tribalism in American politics is nothing new although it seems in recent years, it has been ratcheted up several notches. I have been reluctant to say anything about the behaviour of the current POTUS (President of the United States). Until now.  I have never been to Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States. I was not there in the fall of 2017 during Hurricane Maria. I did not go to the morgues to verify the number of people who lost their lives in this devastating hurricane. Apparently, the official number is 2975. Not according to POTUS. More fake news according to him. About people who lost their lives.

Doug Ford seems intent on disrupting the status quo now that he has his hands at the tiller of the Province of Ontario. I am not a resident of Toronto. I don’t understand the complex dynamics of running Canada’s largest city. I have no opinion on the number of elected officials required to efficiently operate the GTA. Most reasonably intelligent people understand due process. Mr.Ford has unilaterally decided to impose his will on the populace, overruling a judge. The judicial system provides checks and balances to protect the people and uphold the spirit and letter of the law. Premier Ford has decided otherwise. In the midst of a municipal election, he has decided to change the rules. He not only wants to change the rules, he also wants to use a sledgehammer to do it invoking the “Notwithstanding clause”.

I ran the Boston Marathon in 2011 and 2012. When I got to the start line, I had trained for months. My expectation was to run from Hopkinton to downtown Boston, a distance of 42 kilometres, plus a few extra steps to use the porta potty. Now imagine, that you have started your run and you have arrived at the halfway point in the race when an announcement is made that the remainder of the route has changed as has the length of the run. It would be chaotic to say the least. This is my impression of what is going on in Ontario.

Our own beloved Coady Institute is in turmoil. I have never worked at the Coady. Change is inevitable and is often painful. We all must adapt to the changing times. But something seems amiss at the Coady with the plethora of staff departures. I am not in a position to judge. However, I have spoken with people who worked there in the past. I have read their stories about the “crisis at Coady”.  They are amongst the most thoughtful, level headed and educated people I know. When they speak, I listen. I have also read articles from other equally thoughtful individuals who have a different assessment of the situation. This is more than change. Something appears to be wrong and needs fixing.

It’s not easy being a leader but it appears that these days, the reins of power, in some quarters, are in the hands of “disruptors.”

What is one to do in the face of seemingly never ending despair?

Sometimes, the thought of running to the nearest cave and hiding sounds like a good option. But we can’t just bury our heads in the sand. Writing letters to those in authority carries weight. I’m not suggesting that you fire off a note to POTUS. When things affect you directly, write to your councillor, Member of the Legislature, Member of Parliament or to any other institution.

I have found that hope trumps despair and volunteering is usually a pretty good antidote. The recent National Special Olympics held in our small town is a shining example about what’s best in us.

“Where you lead, I will follow, anywhere that you tell me to,

If you need, you need me to be with you, I will follow where you lead.”

Where You Lead. Carole King


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