WE ARE ONE

Lasha Morningstar

July 22, 2013

Too much. It's just too much. Tragedy knocks on our door morning, noon and night. Floods. Massive train derailments incinerating people, homes, lives.

Weather warnings seem to come out of the blue with the dreaded tornado watch triggering flashbacks to Black Friday 1987 and its murderous destruction. The gorgeous Alberta sun snubbing us, with threats of downpours and "Take your umbrellas to work" tagging too many weather forecasts.

And did anyone happen to see the day that spring came and went?

Everything seems to be in a state of flux. Senators are on the block for alleged expense mismanagement. MPs and cabinet ministers are bailing out of their posh jobs. Rumbles of a cabinet shuffle top Ottawa media types' conversations and columns. But would those new faces make any difference to our stumbling economy and savaged environment?

JOBS DISAPPEAR

Overseas, refugees flee never-ending war. European country after country stagger under horrific unemployment numbers. The heart wipes out that sterile "numbers" word and worries that the word translates into millions of people who cannot find work, are losing their homes and are bereft of hope.

Jobs are not like years gone by. You are loyal, put your job at the top of your to do list and are proud of what you do.

Surprise. Companies change hands. That euphemism "reorganization" takes place or the business shuts its doors and workers find themselves without a place to go on Monday morning.

Economists cheer at the relatively low unemployment stats. For the just laid off worker who, despite a sterling work record, cannot even get a job interview, the cheery business story is a slap in the face.

WORK IS LIFE

It is even more devastating for those whose work is their life, their identity, losing their work can make life intolerable. Certain professions, such as police work, journalism, ballet, are prone to this obsession.

But whatever the work, when one is without employment and starts to lose their security – their home, their belongings, their place in society – life becomes intolerable.

On the home front, personal problems abound. Poverty-ridden parents who rely on school breakfasts and lunches to satisfy a goodly part of their children's hunger dread the two summer months of scrambling to keep food bowls full until September finally comes.

It starts to feel like life is beating us up, that we have no control.

HOME TO ROOST?

Why is this all happening, seemingly at the same time? Heaven only knows. Maybe it's, as grandparents used to say, the chickens are coming home to roost. Climate change because of human action. Changing economics, again because of human – make that, governments' – action. Just change in general and we are caught off guard.

Those are dangerous waters to swim in. Time to climb on the life raft.

Carve out a quiet time each day to reflect and give thanks for the blessings you do have. Once refreshed, take two deep breaths and return to society.

(Lasha Morningstar lasha@wcr.ab.ca)