This week I listened as Green Party leader Elizabeth May called on Canadians to take back political ownership of their country. She called on people to tell their politicians that they want this to be the Canada that it used to be, a country: that stands proud and free among nations; a country with a good record for human rights; a country that cares for the environment, and seeks to make life better for future generations. May left me with a feeling that there is something wrong with the way Canadians are now doing democracy. She left me feeling that many political leaders have lost their democratic souls, concentrating on the pursuit of personal wealth and power at the expense of future generations and the liberal democratic way of life that we have experienced in the past.
I spoke with May, and I think she agreed, that this malaise is far greater than politics and democracy. It is a sickness that has infiltrated all aspects of Canadian culture. We have forgotten who we are. As we run the race of life, at its ever quickening pace, there is never enough time. No time to read. No time to think. No time to check our email. No time to worry about others. No time for politics or religion. No time for ourselves or for our loved ones…. unless they can skype once a month on the last Sunday afternoon, precisely from 4:30 to 5:00.
How do we turn this around? How do we regain ownership of our lives, our religious beliefs, our communities and our country?
The first step is to recognize that there is a problem. Next, we must think about ourselves. who we are and how so much of what we believe in has quietly slipped away from our grasp. We must remember who we were and decide what we want to be. How do we want the people of the world to see us. We must re-take ownership of our lives: our country and our souls.