Every morning there is more news about the money meltdown, “are we up today?” “are we down today?” Well today there was a discussion about how the environment has taken a backseat to the economy. Another story about a plan to house every homeless person in Vancouver by the political party Vision Vancouver. Michael Geller, planner, developer and candidate for City Council running with the NPA for the November 15th election, says we shouldn’t be spending money building housing during these unstable economic times. I was struck by his comments and those of Rick Cluff’s on the CBC about the”backseat” the environment is taking, along with homelessness, the arts, and maybe those extra beds that were needed for those emergency breast cancer surgeries in Campbell River. What i was struck by, was the stupidity of it all. Academics, Journalists, so called intelligent people not getting it. The actual definition of economy is household management. When i think of taking care of the house, a few thoughts come to mind. For one, you literally take care of the house- the environment, so we can breathe, drink and eat from a healthy source, you take care of the people in the house- the homeless and those 2 women that might die in Campbell River if they don’t get their surgery, and then you go one deeper, in to the hearts and souls of the people in your house- you support culture, and not the bloody opera, and ballet, although i love them both, but all of it, everything that makes us hum, lights us up, inspires us, brings us together and feeds us.
I have no faith in leaders. We are being asked to elect them at every turn, people who will never cut it, because mostly they don’t get it, and it’s not really about them anyhow, it’s about us. My friend Marge told me about this queer women of colour weekend retreat she went to about a month ago. They were all excited about an idea to collectively buy some land and live off the grid. My friend, who i love and admire, was feeling less inspired, less excited. This is not part of her reality. She can’t afford it and she lives with chronic pain, so her question is “how are we going to look after each other right now?” Here in the city, how do we take care of this house, and the people in it. I have thought about this question a lot over the past few weeks. It’s not the economy, it’s that we don’t know how to look after each other, or this house we all live in. The thought of living with less privelidge is frightening, because we know we would be hooped. We don’t build those relationships in our culture, we don’t feel we need to, it is seen as a weakness to ask for help, that is what charity is for.
I found this quote and i thought it said it more succinctly than i just did in 509 wds.
“Only when the last tree is cut; only when the last river is polluted; only when the last fish is caught; only then will they realize that you cannot eat money.” — Cree proverb.