Curiosity is a great quality to nurture in our children and ourselves. Learning new things challenges the static life we pretend to live and prepares us for the sure presence of uncertainty and change. Depending on how you focus your curiosity, you can take an eagle’s view or a mouse view of something, and get a sense of the context and patterns surrounding the object of your curiosity.
What intrigues me these days are the decision making processes of governments. How is democracy working these days in your neighbourhood? Up close, we have a neighbourhood association which is looking out for people and their homes as we collectively protect and preserve both the current value and heritage value of our properties. Just being more vigilant together doesn’t make anyone a vigilante but it helps to work in cooperation to ensure that vandalism and theft is kept to a minimum. We set up patterns of watchfulness and reporting and overall caring for each other, even the thieves and vandals, making sure they are reported if they are homeless or suffering from addiction, so they get well treated in protective care.
On a more provincial basis, our conservative government is making very rapid decisions without a lot of consultation or consideration that affect social, cultural, environmental and economic changes that are unprecedented. These changes include ripping up negotiated contracts, releasing provincial parks to be closed or privately managed, selling native grassland owned by the Crown, reducing staff in classrooms and in service to students and teachers, providing a $4Billion benefit to oil producing companies, many of which are foreign owned or moved shortly after to foreign offices, identifying environmentalists as enemies of the provincial interests and funding an office to target their activities, identifying the federal government as an enemy of Alberta instead of an ally and on and on. This accelerated pattern of change disturbs me for its pace and direction and as well as its reckless disregard of democratic consultation with interest groups. Not listening while in a position of power seems a perfect storm for losing the confidence of people. Rushing to judgement and summary actions without considering, or at least being seen to consider, all the options for action seems careless of the constituency which elected this government. Are they afraid of what they will hear? What they will learn? What might change their minds or direction, even in the least little bit? What can possibly threaten a government in power more than reasonable citizens with a reasonable point of view? Patterns of fear, distain of difference, elitism, narrow-mindedness… that doesn’t reflect the Alberta that I grew up in.
Adaptive action – using inquiry and pattern spotting to learn from the present and determine what it means, the options for action before taking the next wise step – offers me resilience and a wider open minded view. Are you interested in knowing more about resilience in these days of tension and confusion?