Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No quick fix.

"We are all connected."
I had an early morning appearance on a local TV station -- for which I was late. The producers and staff were gracious and kind. No problem, they said. We can make it work.

And they did.

While waiting I chatted with a local 'personality'. A pediatrician who regularly appears on their breakfast show. We talked about change and life and growth and money and problems and how money can't fix all problems. "Look at Obama," he said. "He knows there's no quick fix. But do people really hear him?"

No quick fix.

In this city, nestled at the foot of the Rockies, the Provincial Government has just promised $3.3 billion dollars to 'fix' the problem of homelessness, once and for all. Their ten year plan to end homelessness dovetails with the countless plans across North America focused on ending what is a deeply seated social ill.

The promise of ending it presents a misconception. We want to believe it can happen. We want to believe it will. We want to believe it's possible.

It is -- but only if we also end, addictions, family abuse, violence, and a host of economic contributors such as displacement of the poor through gentrification of neighbourhoods and the tearing down of existing housing stock.

Sure, we can build affordable housing -- but do we change the social mores that dictate it's acceptable to tear down existing stock without any accountability, without any resulting change to our desire to build bigger and better. How do we change the belief that 'progress' is measured in glass buildings soaring to the sky without any consideration for the impact of our desire to 'grow-up' upon those who have no where else to go on the ground below?

As the doctor and I talked, we agreed -- something's gotta change -- and it's not all about money.

As a society -- our accountability is in how we treat all mankind. We are all connected.

Money only goes so far. How do we change our social conscience? How do we honour our connection without dishonouring ourselves?

These are free flow thoughts -- any commentary is most welcome!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good morning - great stimulation; care to visit my Toastmasters club tonight? I am focusing on some of these issues in my speech.



p.s. . .about that other thing, what was the reaction to the idea?