Choices Have Consequences

Editor’s Note: We received this letter a couple of days before last night’s election results. Its sentiments seem especially apt now.


trumpDescribed as hostile, divisive, negative, nasty, crude, behaviour that is tearing the country apart — is the election south of the border a look into what can potentially happen anywhere? The mood, the attitudes displayed — are we all at risk of becoming what we see repeated on the nightly news?

What is the real human drama being played out upon the small and larger stages during this period in our evolution? Are we hell-bent on our destruction out of boredom? Is it fear, feelings of loss of control and the insecurity of activity occurring beyond our ability to predict and manage successfully… what is it?

We can’t honestly believe that as a civilized, law abiding society we accept the deterioration into the current chaos that we see played out South of the border. Is Trump the best example there is for a leader of the largest free world country,  a skyscraper tycoon who doesn’t pay taxes and feels his entitlement to all he may desire….surely he isn’t the best that that country has to offer themselves and the world at large? Surely we see that the arrogance and crudeness of the TV performer is an unacceptable measurement for greatness wherever you live.

The truth is however that Trump wouldn’t happen without the boiling point having been reached by tormented souls who are seeking something — the question is, what is being sought?

As a place to start, our survival needs include air, water, food, clothing, shelter and all are paramount to maintenance of our sanity and civility. We need to feel safe, and secure, we need to feel  we belong and that we can reach our full potential. In today’s world, the anticipated impact of climate change, the global economy with the resulting individual and collective unpreparedness to meet its requirements, the ISIS boogey man that lurks somewhere out there in the shadows and threatens without discrimination the lives of multitudes within peaceful borders as well as war zones, the coming out of closet differences amongst us whether religious, sexual or cultural….we walk hesitantly amidst the unknown and it frightens us, we’ve lost the coherence, control, stability of a known neighborhood.

Points of reference have altered, shifted, disappeared and we’re afraid to move from the position of dominance to one of inclusiveness….it scares us to death, it drives us to a war mentality…. them or me, kill the enemy figuratively and literally.

We can feel we belong in the strangest places — whether or not we really do is seldom examined thoroughly. As long as we feel included and even when it pulls and grates against our deepest leanings towards a decorum of civility we will buy into the direction of the ‘herd’ lead by someone with a questionable, personal self-serving agenda and only recognize we’ve been duped when it is too late. We trust and believe in very little that has guided us traditionally.

Connected 24/7 as we are, what role has technology played in contributing to this mood of antagonism and defiance. Have we become deaf to the inner voice of reason and moral guidance. It is so easy to state our case from the private, safe and secluded locale of our gadgetry where we never have to come face to face with the differences amongst us. We risk the loss of skills in communication, socialization, collaboration and negotiation. It’s easy to just turn each other off , never having to confront our own need for growth as seen in the eye of another.

Much has been advanced in the micro and the macrocosm of our world, there is much good remaining amongst us and between us but it doesn’t take much to trigger a reaction of fault finding, a desire to prove someone else wrong and clear oneself of any contribution to the unrest. We’ve lost the desire to see that there are two sides to the coin and that the solution probably lies somewhere in the middle between the two sides. We seem to crave the distraction and diversion of a good fight versus struggling to find common ground and solutions to issues that confront us—the consequence is potentially grave and dangerous when this approach becomes the norm versus an aberration of our approach to problem solving.

Karen Hirst