The Daily EO: July 1st, 2012

I don’t really understand what it means to live without, to generally be concerned about my safety, or need to protest in the streets to get basic human rights for me or my fellow countrymen.  I don’t know what it means to not have EI to turn to, worry about getting sick because I cannot afford the bill, or face the workings of a corrupt police force.  I do not like Stephen Harper much – he’s is a bit of a stuffed shirt – but I don’t have to worry about him eliminating the Québécois in massive act of government-sponsored genocide.  And I will not be taken from my home for voicing a negative opinion about him.  I don’t have to bribe a government official to receive a licence.  And I can log into Facebook any time I want (which I do not want).

My generation – and the ones that are coming after me – for the most part don’t get it.  Those who came before us fought – both literally and figuratively – so we didn’t have to understand it.  So suffering and misery were replaced by hope and opportunity.

I know some of you would point out the challenges we face here:  many Canadians living under the poverty line, social issues prevalent in our Native populations, the erosion of our Peace Keeping reputation on the world stage, the underfunding problem in healthcare, cheap imports devastating our manufacturing base, and conservation of our generous nature resources.  There will always be problems for us to solve.

But we have the basics of the basics down.  And today – despite it’s predictability – I am thankful.

July 1st, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Celebrating my Canadian Citizenship.


The Daily EO: June 26th, 2012

A couple of days ago, I railed to my husband about something that was not politically correct.  On and on I went.   I knew I was in a safe environment and I knew if I said something that sounded biased and unsympathetic he would clarify with me.  It’s nice to talk with someone who knows you.  With whom you can explore differing points of view without causing offence.  I called my mom about the discussion to get her perspective, and after thinking and discussing all day, my opinion firmed up.

I do not think that Karen Klein should be getting money for being a sub-par bus monitor.  I think the children who tormented her, behaved badly.  I hope this is a kick in the pants to those who love these kids to intervene before the children become self-absorbed adults with no concept of considering the impacts of their actions on others.  And unfortunately, I’ve met some adults like that.  I don’t want more.

But what really pisses me off is that I didn’t share this opinion on this blog or in person or anywhere..  I was concerned about going in the face of public opinion.  Afterall, to date over $650,000 USD has been raised for her through micro-financing.  When people speak with their money, you know they actually mean it (or they are just rich and can afford to pay for “meaning”).   I didn’t think I totally understood the situation – I hadn’t even watched the entire video.  I also didn’t want to be caught up in the internet meme of the day, jumping on the bullying bandwagon so to speak.

Today, the Huffington Post published a editorial blog by Chris Kelly and he thought just like me.  Just like me!  Why the hell didn’t I say anything?

June 27th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Keeping my opinion to mostly myself.  And that is very strange indeed.

The Daily EO: May 15th, 2012

As I promised last Tuesday, Emile and I returned to the United Church for the final movie in the “Think About It” movie series today.  The movie was called “The World According to Monsanto”.  It’s a documentary about Monsanto, one of – if not the largest – Agro/Biotech companies in the world.  It had allegations of FDA/government/Monsanto collusion, scientist smear campaigns, worldwide food/farmer control and destruction of our natural specimens.  If only half of the things in the movie were true, then it is horrifying.

The movie was presented by two gentlemen who care deeply about many issues the world.  One was moderate, and I listened while he spoke.  The other was a rabid protester who was practically foaming at the mouth just introducing the movie.  “The most EVIL company on earth.” foam, foam.  “Agent Orange!”  drooling, foam.   Emile and I were avoiding eye contact so we wouldn’t giggle.  And what is funny about poisoning our world?  Nothing.  But it’s the messenger in this case.  Get ahold of yourself, man!

See, there are a bunch of us in the middle – we care, we modify our behaviors when educated about the impact, but we just don’t care *that* much.   So, when faced with an activist or protestor that seems to only see the Black and White of an issue, it turns us off.  I start to think that this person doesn’t truly understand the complexities of the issues, hasn’t researched the problem and I really shouldn’t take anything they are saying as anything more than ranting.  The hallmarks of such a protestor is someone who presents opinion as facts, whose conversations connect not through facts but instead unrelated “evil acts” by corporations/governments and who cannot see small marginal changes as improvements.  So moderate types like me have difficulty relating to such a person and therefore we toss the message out with the messenger.  That only harms the cause.  You’re losing me – and I am the majority!  The people in the middle who care, but just not as much as you do.

The “discussion” at the end of the movie was more of the same.  Are all genetically modified foods harmful?  I don’t know.   Are there any pesticides that can be used in moderation without damaging our ecosystem?  I don’t know.  Is Monsanto the most evil corporate on earth?  Well, heaven doesn’t seem the goal.    But we didn’t discuss that.   Instead, all the participants seemed to think it was more helpful to bring up all sorts of scandals, conspiracies, cover ups, corruptions, etc that have ever happened (or alleged to have happened, or even probably didn’t happen) that were unrelated to the movie or the issue.  Then an activist stood up to invite us all to a “peace picnic” on Sunday evening in the park.   She then used it as an opportunity to brag about all the protests she has been involved in.  “That was me!” echoed through the church.  Get me out of here.

I occasionally wonder what is wrong with me – why don’t I care enough?  I do try.  I buy organic when I can afford to, I avoid GMOs in soybeans, I drive a small fuel efficient car, I buy natural and organic health and cleaning products.  I am doing okay.  But I am not suddenly going to move into a yurt and shun all corporations, screaming “Kill the corporate pigs!” while banging on a hand-made drum.  Let’s be real here.

So, you want my heart?  When speaking to me, bring a coherent unbiased presentation of the facts, speak about one issue at a time, tell me your ultimate goal in this protest and then tell me what I could do in my every day life to make a difference.  I will listen, I will think about it, I might support you and I may even make the suggested changes in my life.

Because right now? I am thinking you are all a bunch of wackos – and that you should be avoided – along with your message.

May 15th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Giggling in the sanctuary with my husband about the lack of grey in some people’s worlds.

Maintenance May Day 15:
Left my quarter in my shopping cart for the next person.  (soul)
Attending the movie as noted above to learn more about BioTech and GMOs. (knowledge)


The Daily EO: May 1st, 2012

Well, it has arrived.  May.  My nemesis.  But this time I am prepared.  Because it is the start of a new “thing“.    This Month is Maintenance May.    What is Maintenance May?  Well, it is the obvious as well as a little further than that.

This month I am going to continue what we started in April with Fit April, but also expand that to include the maintenance of all things in my life.  Maintenance of my body, my brain, my soul, my stuff, my career, my training, my knowledge and my heart.  Each day will be a challenge to do something to expand my thoughts and myself about myself and my world.  To better connect with those around me and maybe grow a little in the process.  Things I don’t normally do, things that make me anxious to think about.  Not random kindnesses, but purposeful.  Feel free to give a suggestion or two – I might need them.

Emile will be following along as well, as he booked his Comptia A+ Networks exam for May 31st.  He is going to maintain his career this month, and will participate somewhat as well.

Today as I headed to my massage appointment, I drove up main street and by our Algonquin Theatre.  Huh!?  My eyes deceived me surely.  I turned my car around and discovered what I saw was actually happening.   There really was an “Occupy Huntsville” protest happening.   I’d heard this and that about a May Day “General Strike” in the US, but I hadn’t expected to see 6 or so protesters here in my 18,000 strong town.   I felt the fool gawking at them, so I took terrible, surreptitious photos from my car down the street.

May 1st, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  The inability to hide your face in this crowd.  If you are going to protest in Huntsville, you are right out there.  Proudly declaring your beliefs without the anonymity afforded in a large city.  I am the 99% too, but I wasn’t out there letting people know.


Maintenance May, Day 1 Items:
Wrote a note to Emile’s cousin to tell her how much I enjoyed meeting her when I was in Holland in 2009.  It’s not too late.  (Heart)
Registered for a 5K run in June, Band on the Run in Huntsville.  (Body)