Things have changed drastically over the past couple of years and this week, once again, another turn in the road has appeared. I have been surprised as I listen to clients, friends, and family who each have their own idea about who or what has caused the problems in our country. Who do you blame?
- The virus – Any illness that can be spread throughout a population is scary! The COVID-19 shut down the whole world! Now numbers are being released stating that approximately 97% who contract it don’t die from it and less than 1% of Canada’s population have succumbed. That is good news.
- Prevention/Treatment – Controversy concerning appropriate choices have been prevalent and efficacy of the vaccines range from 14% to 90%. No long-term studies are available so we will have to give it time.
- Science – What is the truth? We are told to respect the science, but the scientists don’t agree on prevention, treatment or long-term adverse effects.
- Statistics – Recently Premier Scott Moe of Saskatchewan quoted statistics and personal experience, including himself and Justin Trudeau as having two vaccines and still getting COVID. His conclusion regarding practices were “It’s not working”.
- Restrictions – After two years of inconsistent messages and limited activities, some Canadians claim there is a COVID fatigue that has resulted in depression, suicides, academic interruptions and relationship problems.
- The unvaccinated – Many think that if everyone would just get the shots then we could return to “Normal”. Justin Trudeau claims 90% of Canadians are vaccinated already. The Canada Covid tracker states 43.5% have had two doses and the booster. Are the unvaccinated your enemy?
- The vaccinated – The unvaccinated might view others who are passionate about getting the shots as abusive and oppressive.
- Convoys – The group who protested in Ottawa were a problem for those who believe that the freedoms of the city’s residents were being hampered. Other oppose stating that good was done: the homeless were fed, sidewalks are shoveled, and the recorded crime was reduced by 90%.
- Blockades – The economic consequences of preventing trade between Canada and the United States is huge. Several Customs borders have been clogged by truckers, farmers, families and even horses. Some blockades left a lane open for emergencies, but an economic price has been paid for the protests.
- Vocabulary – How do we define the words terrorists, occupation, threat, criminal activity, racism, misogynist, dangerous, supremacist, unacceptable views, and fringe. Are we using them appropriately? Words can cause hurt and division.
- Boundaries - When does a protestor become a terrorist? Why is violence and destruction sometimes allowed? How does tearing down statues compare to one person putting clothing on a statue? Do we apply our laws, policies, and principles consistently? Perhaps some need to be changed or defined more clearly?
- History – Did we or can we learn from the past? Why did we participate in the World Wars? Were ethics violations a problem or a travesty?
- Media – Why do we believe 24 hours of opinion that some label as “biased”? Are we receiving fair and honest information and facts?
- Social media – Are those labelled as conspiracy theorists negatively stirring the pot? Or are those who are censoring them the bad guys?
- Police/Military/Veterans – Why are some police following orders while others are refusing to work or calling in sick to avoid shifts? Many think the police should be defunded as they are the “enemy”.
- Politicians – Medical science seems to have become political science and debate usually falls into party lines. Is the Emergency Act which has never been used in Canada the right choice for today?
- Other countries – Many believe that foreign countries and global leaders are manipulating Canada with influence and funding. Are they to blame for interfering?
- Those with different opinions – Are the friends, family and neighbors who don’t agree with you, the enemy? Perhaps passionately arguing will cause long-term brokenness.
- God – Did He abandon us, or did we abandon Him?
- Ourselves – Are you angry at yourself because you think you made some wrong choices in the past couple of years? Have you made yourself the enemy?
Here are the things that I believe all Canadians can agree on:
- We all want freedom and peace.
- We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights to protect us individually and as a country.
- Our reputation in the world has been good and other countries are watching to see how we will resolve issues.
- Our behaviors are driven by our underlying values and beliefs. What do you believe and why?
I am not trying to be political. I am just providing information from Canadians that I have observed as a Canadian.This week, go through the list and mark the things that you perceive have been your enemy (ies). Are you going to harbor resentment, argue with others and act inappropriately? Do you really want to have enemies? (I don’t). Or are you going to examine the issues and make a plan that will improve your mental health and our country?