Change should bring pain but not hate

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - NEWS - By Ryan Dahlman

Ev­ery­thing comes down to this: love, kind­ness, com­pas­sion and em­pa­thy. All or noth­ing.

Do peo­ple have it in them? With­out these qual­i­ties peo­ple on the prairies, the coun­try, and the world will con­tinue to have this ugly power strug­gle.

The world is cur­rently in a state of tur­moil. Hate. Vi­o­lence. Racism. Dom­i­nance. In­tim­i­da­tion.

Whether you are talk­ing about bul­ly­ing, pas­sive ag­gres­sive­ness and gaslight­ing on a per­sonal level all the way to dif­fer­ent lev­els of gov­ern­ment and gov­ern­ment ser­vices, there seems to be fin­gers pointed ev­ery which way.

Whether you want to blame COVID-19 for ini­ti­at­ing the is­sues by dev­as­tat­ing the economies of in­dus­tri­al­ized na­tions which in turn caused so­cial and in­di­vid­ual stress on peo­ple — the seeds of hate, op­pres­sion, mal­ice along with self-loathing, no con­fi­dence and no faith were al­ready there and planted from pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions. While there were pres­sures which have caused peo­ple to lose their pa­tience and no longer able to hide their true in­ner most feel­ings, much of it is not good.

The pan­demic’s stone which was thrown in the wa­ter has not caused rip­ples but gi­gan­tic waves.

So many are strug­gling with the ex­treme of a lack of work or too much with hav­ing to take ex­tra du­ties on de­pend­ing on cir­cum­stance.

With peo­ple ei­ther have time to ac­tu­ally think; there seems to be time to ei­ther hate each other more or fig­ure out there has been in­jus­tice.

Many peo­ple who of white priv­i­lege, but aren’t nec­es­sar­ily racists have been shocked by the mur­ders and gen­uine out and out ha­tred of peo­ple of colour that have been video­taped. With the mur­ders caught on tape, it has taken some time but so­ci­ety is start­ing to lis­ten to the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment. Still a long way to go, but some things are chang­ing.

There is a re­lease of the heart­break­ing and hor­ri­fy­ing of the pre­vi­ously re­pressed sto­ries of op­pres­sive acts to­wards blacks in the United States and of na­tives and other peo­ple of colour in Canada. Those of white priv­i­lege are lis­ten­ing, at least some are and hope­fully that will lead to mean­ing­ful change.

No mat­ter who you are, we are hor­ri­fied of what they are see­ing on so­cial me­dia with the stress caused by cur­rent eco­nomic con­di­tions caused by the pan­demic and the re­lease of angst dur­ing these so­cial con­di­tions. Many are re­act­ing badly.

We feel the need to arm our­selves with weapons, in­clud­ing cell phone cam­eras.

We have al­ways been in North Amer­ica a ‘gotcha” cul­ture — with the grad­ual pro­gres­sion from Candid Cam­era to Amer­ica’s Fun­ni­est Home Videos to now the far more se­ri­ous cell phone video cam­era, am­a­teur videog­ra­phers are catch­ing pure ug­li­ness out there. View­ers are watch­ing beat­ings, mur­ders, po­lice and civil­ian bru­tal­ity both phys­i­cal and ver­bal… all parts of the world are see­ing the vilest as­pects of so­ci­ety that we haven’t ac­tu­ally wit­nessed be­fore.

Sure, you hear about cru­elty but now we are watch­ing the video re­play of it com­plete with all ob­scene lan­guage and bru­tal­ity leaves noth­ing to the imag­i­na­tion. Peo­ple fight­ing in park­ing lots, those protest­ing do­ing it peace­fully or dur­ing over cars, loot­ing, set­ting things on fire or fight­ing po­lice. Why? Fight fire with fire?

Stand­ing up for what you be­lieve of­ten is equated with vi­o­lence and shows of force and men­tal in­tim­i­da­tion be­cause that is now the hu­man con­di­tion. “Only the strong sur­vive.”

“Sur­vival of the fittest.”

“Don’t be a wimp.”

“This is the way it has al­ways been.” Ev­ery­thing is not about putting forth new ideas, it is about air­ing grievences. Tak­ing back what was taken or grab­bing what peo­ple never had.

If we were spurned by love, kind­ness, com­pas­sion and em­pa­thy more in­stead of be­ing driven by ego, a quest for power, dom­i­nance and riches, the world would be a far more peace­ful, bet­ter place. Cur­rently it isn’t this way. All we can do is hope and act for change when we can, and hope­fully from a good place in our hearts.

Ryan Dahlman is the man­ag­ing edi­tor of Prairie Post East and Prairie Post West

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