Vitriol, anger, disgust…the list goes on for many Canadians when they log onto their respective social media pages. Even the business minded platform LinkedIn has become a sparring ground for the frustrated masses. It would seem we are at the epoch of anger in our country. The right seemingly hates the left, the left seemingly hates the right…well, that’s what majority of our social media feeds are telling us lately anyways. From national energy projects being blocked, cancelled or put on hold, to open demonstrations and protests including the yellow vests that started in France now taking on a life of its own here; it’s a mess out there. Citizens feel that they need to have their voice heard, whatever side of the fence they stand. The appetite for divisiveness is at an all time high; the topic of politics a lighting rod that could spark a forest fire from a wet rag. It seems many are trying to tear down the fence boards of their neighbours with one hand, while the other hand haphazardly scrambles to add boards to their own barrier.
It’s a proverbial one-legged ass kicking contest as there seems to be little appetite on either side to bridge the divide. Why listen, when one can scream? Social media acting as a megaphone plugged into a Marshall half stack amplifying the cries of the masses. At what point do our voices crack from the incessant screaming, giving way to thoughtful reasoning? After all, the old adage of “we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason” still stands up today.
What’s the solution you might ask? I really don’t know.
Well then, what’s the logical first step? Not sure.
So now what? Well…maybe we take a step back and review the situation from a thousand feet up resisting the urge for our arm chair expertise to dive immediately to the finest of granular level. Translate that anger and disdain into something impactful. Stand up out of your chair yes, but no need to throw it across the room.
I think we can all (mostly) agree that no one person or industry wants to destroy our environment or our earth. But at what point does reason marry practicality? Our society demands the latest technologies, goods, products, and services at warp speed; but a good deal of the population has very little idea how these ideals we culturally consume are even begun to be created, produced and delivered to your doorstep, hand, and device. Majority of us are hypocrites and we don’t even know it, or we do, and simply do not care. It just is what it is. Find your narrative it seems.
It would be foolish to cite any studies or science on either side of any debate, that’s not the point here. The only point here being, is it possible for us to look at our personal inner circles to conduct inventory of our morals, our principals, our standpoints and then reconcile those beliefs with our current standards of living, habits and hobbies? Are we truly living in coincidence with our outward displays of emotion and opinion? If the answer is yes, bravo; you’re walking the talk when most have at least one broken leg on the road to righteousness.
If the answer is no, don’t despair. You’re likely in the majority. However, we can always make change and work to become who we feel we should be. There are good people on all sides of this debate, each side has its own personal, economic and environmental reasons, stories, history, and unique journey. But before we tear out the pages to fan the flames of the current tire fire of our nation, perhaps we pay credence to what’s on those pages. Maybe we work to make an effort to learn, to educate ourselves as to our own current viewpoint of what we believe to be true, but also try to at least attempt to hear the critics of the other side in an effort to foster meaningful and respectful dialogue. Maybe we consider focusing on the most accurate facts we currently have at hand and discarding personal vendettas and harbingers of hate.
It’s been said that in any sport (or our current state of keyboard warfare), isn’t the best offence, a good defense? Aren’t we all on the same team? Wishful thinking as you can’t often please everyone, but perhaps all of this “energy” finds itself fueled into a suitable vehicle that can be driven towards meaningful resolution for our nation, our economy, our environment and yes, our energy industry.