Sitting on top of the world

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Fred Ryan
Éditorialiste Invitée
Guest Editorialist


Fred Ryan
Éditorialiste Invitée
Guest Editorialist

That’s correct, it’s a federal election, two years early, and costing us over 500 million. Yes, political game-playing and promising jump into over-drive … but we don’t have to treat this as a horse-race, where every question is reduced to "yes" or "no". Sports analogies make it all too easy to ignore, or to think of other, more summery, things. Yet we’ll live with the results of what we decide for years.
We don’t want an election, according to many polls, but we have one in front of us and we can rise to the challenge.
The challenge of reading programs and interviews, attending all-candidates meetings — all the usual, which, in many countries, puts people in jail merely for demanding these liberties.  
Look at ourselves, Canadians! We are living in one of the richest, least crowded and least polluted pieces of the planet. Every one of us — except an unfortunate percentile — would be a privileged person in most other parts of the world. We are privileged persons, yet our home, our planet, seems drifting towards uncontrollable chaotic-pattern climate disaster.  We’re at the tipping point and also we are living the wealthiest moment in this planet’s life. What a contradiction, what irony! Our living standards, life spans, health, nutrition, educations and working conditions are all near their peaks in world history. We are living in Earth’s Golden Age, today, as one friend insists.  
Living on top of the world should give us a unique view of the world … an unparalleled view. This is what the infamous "end of history" comment refers to — life has never been better, broadly speaking.  And so as we approach this election, are we using this vantage viewpoint to help us pick a better
government, a better path to follow?
Or are we bottling ourselves up in today’s à la mode issues: sexual orientation, for example, the right to abortions, the personalities of the candidates, their language, facial hair, head coverings, their skin colour?
But living on top of the world also seems to give us an immense hurdle to leap — our own personal well-being. We are tangled up in beliefs that we "deserve" so many better things!
"I deserve X, Y & Z"  is a terrible election demand. "You deserve it …" a terrible rally call. We have to look beyond our own privilege. We must use the top of the world to give us a long vision, to stimulate foresight, and to assist in choosing what appears most effective in bettering the life — all lives — which seem to exist nowhere else in the cosmos but here.  
Doesn’t this top view gives us perspectives and responsibilities we must not ignore, assuming we’d like humanity to continue and to prosper?