The world seems to be in turmoil today. Everywhere we look, we are inundated with so much bad news to the point that it takes a toll on our mental health. Generally I try to stay out of these things, but the climate today is more turbulent, violent and divisive than I've seen in a long time. I guess that it's important to be concerned and to think about how to be a force for positive change. These days I'm keeping an eye on a few things: the racism and violence in the United States, the trade war between the Americans and Chinese, and the suffering of the people in Hong Kong.
In Canada, we often have the luxury of burying our heads in the sand and waiting for problems to disappear, for peace to emerge again. But it looks like we're going to have to work for that peace and carefully choose our words and actions, as well as who we choose to represent us. Keep in mind, I am generally neutral when it comes to politics, but if I had to give myself a label, I tend to lean to the conservative side. But most importantly, I'd consider myself a moderate. These days are anything but "moderate". I'm not going to spark a debate about the US President and the contributions he's made to the chaos. Let's leave it at: Americans voted for him for some reason, and there are many people who hate him. In any case, this is not about Trump. It is not about impeaching him, defeating him in the next election or anything like that.
I will say, however, that the election of Trump started a period of considerable political polarization. It's like you're not allowed to be a moderate any more. Civil discourse gives way to divisive comments, attack ads and fearmongering. And it seems there's no end in sight. Not one leader in the upcoming Canadian or American elections strikes me as the sort of person who will bring calm to the chaos, to get people to talk to each other and respect each other as adult humans. Politicians, it seems, have rediscovered the power of turning people against one another and hurling vicious insults at their "enemies".
I don't pretend to know all the answers, or be qualified to run a country. I do know that I want better from our leaders. I want to see leaders who mediate rational and civil discussions about points of debate. I want to see leaders steer clear of the sort of rhetoric that has become commonplace. I want to see leaders with real ideas for change - even the conservative in me has to admit that the current situation is not sustainable. We have many new issues: how we can be multicultural and tolerant of others in an ever-shrinking world, how we can take care of the planet's environment, and how we should treat the less fortunate.
I do know that what is happening today is not improving the situation one bit. Leaders behave like children in a playground, bullying and calling names. The morality of the people we should look up to is called into question every day. We need to do better as humans. The constant barrage of negativity drains us all, and leaves us an empty shell of our potential. It starts with leadership though. Our leaders should be people we want to emulate, who give us a good example of how to treat others. We should be able to be proud of how they handle their responsibility, and be able to give thanks at the end of the day for the peace and freedom we enjoy.
The world truly is more chaotic than I've ever known it. Some days I lose hope that we will ever resolve anything, that a phoenix will rise from the ashes and guide us forward. But it is when we lose hope that we succumb to the cacophony that is all around us. Let's not lose hope yet; humanity has survived much worse.