All too often, especially after feeling disappointed we tend to choose the same path. This path often involves blaming others, seeking scapegoats, and sometimes even mocking those we see as our opponents. The map below of the GTA (from CBC) shows a divided Ontario, where rural communities and urban communities made starkly different choices in our recent provincial election. Right now, it’s easy for us in the cities to blame people in rural Ontario for the election result. Yet, there is another path where we can seek instead to understand rural communities instead of making them the scapegoat. Take a moment, try to look at their situation: The nearest hospital is hours away, there is no local library or school within walking distance, and there is no such thing as public transportation. From their point of view, public services are not designed with them in mind. Times have been hard economically for many people all over the province. So, when someone promises rural communities “more money in their pockets” they might simply see a better opportunity to make ends meet. Seek to understand and don’t seek to blame. Above all always go high, never go low (to quote a very wise person). Just like it was wrong for Don Cherry to paint Rob Ford’s opponents as “left wing pinkos” it is also wrong to paint rural communities with the epithet of bumpkins who adore their rifles. When in fact it’s farmers from these very same rural communities that grow our food. Why not try to forge a new path? If you live in a city try to better understand folks in rural communities and you may be surprised to find that we are all not that different after all.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson