Dorothy Dobbie
Issues in the news

The sun was out today for the few magical hours that comprise daylight north of 49 on the solstice, the shortest day of the year. There was a light snowfall last night, so the world was powdered with white, glistening in the lemon light that only a northern winter sun can lend. The beauty lifted our souls out of the dreariness of another hysterical response to the COVID-19 virus and the Omicron variant.

Now I am triple vaccinated, dutifully cover my face with a mask, stay out of spaces crowded with strangers and wash my hands. But I refuse to live in perpetual fear that, despite all these precautions, I might get sick. I might get sick with just about anything, and it doesn’t have to be a virus. There are threats to our health everywhere, but we take sensible precautions – we don’t eat food that smells bad. We wash our clothing and our eating utensils and clean our bathrooms. We don’t engage in clearly dangerous behaviour. Despite all that, we still sometimes get sick. Being afraid is of little help.

So today, with the sun shining, my old Dodge Caravan gleaming from the bath I gave it the other day and quite balmy temperatures of about minus 15 or so, I enjoyed life. There was a spring in my step that has been missing since I returned from Ottawa a week ago. What a dreary place that is. And that is odd, because pretty well everyone there makes a very good living with all sorts of perks we ordinary mortals don’t enjoy, especially those who, like me, run a very small company that exists to support its employees, not its owner. Working for the federal government is a sinecure that provides more security than most will ever have.

But the folks “up there” are terrified. All the people on the Hill have been sent home and the buildings are closed. They need special permission to just go and get the mail. A House of Commons middle manager advised me that she thought they would never go back to working full time in the office! Looking out from my hotel room at the mass of office towers that support the workings of the Canadian administration, I was appalled. I cannot see this working effectively, although apparently some of the buildings are already being converted to condos. There are also human casualties. One of the two staff of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians who are employed by the House of Commons to support the Association and the Spouses Committee, lives alone. She has been subjected to isolation for the past two years and that is not healthy. I don’t know how she copes working off her kitchen island.

Do you remember that movie from the 1980s, the Gods Must be Crazy? That sense of living in an unreal world pervades everything we do these days. It very much feels as though, if not the Gods, then a lot of men and women have gone around the bend all at the same time. They seem to have some sort of primitive system of communication and “understanding” of how the world works and what should be done to make it better. And yes, I do believe they think they can improve things, but experience tells us that no one person or indeed one group has all the answers and when they try to impose their well-meaning agenda on others, things can go awfully awry.

Right now, the problem is that the reference point of the changemakers is a time when the world was enjoying one of the most prosperous, compassionate and peaceful times in its history. Yet the current narrative has so twisted the truth of this that anyone just happening upon the scene would believe these disruptors are helping today’s youth escape an incredibly selfish and cruel regime run by their fathers. And they won’t hear otherwise.

I won’t belabour the point, except to repeat, the Gods Must be Crazy, because what else could explain what is happening with Cancel Culture, with doomsday prophecies about “climate”, with racial stereotyping that classifies everybody according to ethnic background or skin colour and pits them against one another?

It all begs the question, what will tomorrow bring? What will happen in 2022? What new fears, anxieties and indignities will be visited upon the population by intellectually lazy leaders, by a chattering class that doesn’t know how to use the research tools around them, by an innocent youth who are being brought up to believe that black is white and this it only matters if that describes the colour of your skin, or your “sexuality”?

I am an eternal optimist, so I believe that the light will gradually begin to permeate the darkness again, that enlightened souls – and there are still many – will being to speak truth to power. Perhaps it will start with the sunshine of springtime as we prepare to go back to the garden – and 2022 has been declared the Year of the Garden – and get our feet firmly grounded in reality again.

So here is to all of you who are bolstered by optimism and positivity and who believe in compassion supported by freedom and enterprise. Here’s to you and me and our collective energy to right the ship and set us back on a course of progress that continues to build upon our past experiences, rather than trying to destroy their very memory. 

Here is to a year filled with energy, and the joy that the satisfaction of hard work and accomplishment brings. I am counting on your heartfelt cries of HAPPY NEW YEAR to send a message of hope to the world. It will get better. We will survive. The light will shine. We will be joyous again!