It is probably not a surprise to people that know me, but the past couple of elections have been rather depressing for me, not only did the outcome not meet my expectations, the election campaigns were sickening to watch. I'm not alone in my electoral sadness, and recently had a friend of mine describe their personal reaction and their attempt to "fight back" through writing. I must confess that my initial reaction was doubt, I'm a bit of an old school thinker when it comes to political change (I share Malcolm Gladwell's doubt of the need to bring "awareness" to an issue) and feel that you have to get your hands dirty to make stuff happen.
So I left a wonderful party, my friend's words in my mind. After a day of thought, her particular phrase "My way of fighting back" came back to me. It made me wonder how one "fights back" when they are not a millionaire (or walking the corridors of power). So far I have come up with the following:
- Living well; I believe Oscar Wilde said that living well is the best revenge
- Enjoy what one has and the happiness of other; this weekend was a perfect example of that (Great news RR!!)
- Participate where you can; write letters with your questions to your councilor, MPP, or MP. If it is well written, it might give them pause for thought. You never know how a good idea travels. Volunteer because sometimes you just need to be in the room and there is a shortage of people (See here for details)
- Get ready for next time; nothing is eternal and things change. Stay informed, do #1-3 when you can
They are hard small steps, but they are steps and are more proactive that sitting around getting angry at opinion pages.
If you are interested in going beyond letter writing, The City of Toronto is looking for feedback on the services they provided (what is a priority and what should be cut/expanded). You can give your feedback through their website. It's easy to do and your voice is heard.
Election number three this fall; Hoping for the best (until I volunteer <smile>).