"Spin" in aviation training: a "stall" or loss of lift, a subsequent nose-down spin, the specific actions required for recovery, and the feeling, after recovery, that you could tackle absolutely anything!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Contested Concept

Yesterday afternoon, the Saturday before the Canadian federal election, I am sitting at my computer surfing back and forth between Twitter and Facebook, following news and election comments. I'm listening to the baseball game on the radio. Stacked beside my computer are the pages of a novel that I have just finished editing for a new pair of eyes to read. There is chatter over the internet about a conservative rally organized by Toronto's Ford brothers: the chatter, for many, is the underpinnings of a national groan of embarrassment– and then I get this twitter feed from Médecins Sans Frontières. I click on it and then, well, my brain starts spinning in my skull.

The MSF piece is a photographically stunning overview of some of the work they are doing now around Lake Chad. There is no food. People are fleeing Boko Haram. It doesn't get any sorrier. I look at the photo's and read the text while the Jays struggle with Kansas City. There is one photo that stops me cold: a low angle of an adult, latex-gloved hand, an MSF worker, gently holding the arm of a small child between his thumb and forefinger. It takes me a second to figure this out. The arm is so thin. Almost as thin as a garden hose. This is real. And unacceptable.


…and then here come the Fords, dragging, at least Toronto, if not the country toward a reprehensible flavor of tabloid behavior that, as Canadians, we do not deserve. The Jays lose, but the series isn't over. My novel sits, ready to make someone laugh, but the child in the photo, I cannot get her out of my mind.

What is it with humans? Are we at all close to having a singular concept of what it even means to be human? We are complex, to be certain, but at what point do we have the courage to listen to that little voice in the back of our minds, or hearts, that says, 

             "You know this is bullshit." 

Do we simply relent to the wash of confirmation bias that manifests in our complicity? 

"Well, those people have chosen to have that experience and yadda-yadda-yadda." 

If that is the case, perhaps the other part of that scenario is how YOU deal with those people while you go about the life that YOU have chosen. I don't believe that anyone who is truly tapped in and present CAN ignore those people–that tiny arm. 

We need to raise the bar with how we behave, the effort we make, and what we tolerate: graciousness(I guess that's my favorite word because it suggests strength with focus). If we can find a way to put humans before money, where the economy is not based on only financial growth, then I think we'd be getting somewhere. The economy we have now is a ridiculous construct and, in a humanitarian scenario, a faulty, troublesome framework. We are at each other's throats. Some are worthy. Others, not. 

Don't get me wrong: we need the Jays! We need entertainment and joy (and I need a date!). And you may roll your eyes at this whole piece(but that's because you've chosen to be the person you are…yadda, yadda), but I think we can do better. I do. I can feel it. It will take courage, but the alternative: that tiny arm. 

    I'm up for it, because, yes, this is bullshit.


1 comment:

  1. The Fords will always be with us. If not these particular ones, then others. We can only strive to be good people, pray the children like the one mentioned in your post are not forgotten and do everything in out power to be kind and promote good in the world. You express important points and its good to remind people. Continue doing so Suzanne.