Putting our collective talents together

August 17, 2022   ·   0 Comments


A funny internet cartoon pointed out that you can lead a human to knowledge but you can’t make him think.
So true.
Today, we are at the height of knowledge as a species. We have so much technology, medical prowess and wealth of information that it’s simply astounding.
And what do we do with it? Not much.
At least that’s true for the majority of working stiffs, who are more concerned about the price of gas than understanding the mysteries of the planet.
But the beauty is you can do both. Most just choose not to.
And that’s sad.
Indigenous elders have titles such as “language keeper” and “knowledge holder.” How amazing is that? What if all societies have “elders” who are responsible for keeping and passing on knowledge?
There are places where people don’t have access to any of life’s bounty. They don’t have clean water, medical care, access to a simple education, or contact with the outside world. They don’t have the luxury of a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips. That, too, is sad.
You can bet that if the less developed world was given what we have, they’d grab it with both hands, digest everything, learn, excel and thrive.
Even if we gave everyone in the world cell phones, many would not be frittering away their time streaming TV shows or posting selfies.
We are a privileged lot, one that doesn’t fully appreciate the bounty we have.
It’s been said that knowledge itself is power, but also that a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing. I believe that many people are walking around struggling with their desire to know more, while being intent on remaining “sane.”
For you see, my friends, the more you know – the more you are aware of – the more you feel. I have always thought the smartest among us carry the most burdens.
We who go out of our way to learn, expose ourselves to different facts, people and cultures, tend to want to do more. Like most King residents will note, once you get a taste of volunteering, mission work or even helping your neighbours, it becomes addictive. You can’t get enough.
But you can also get frustrated, even angry at hurdles, politics, delays and logistics.
Why is so complicated just to get help from Point A to Point B?
Why can’t we solve youth homelessness, housing instability and mental health problems? Why is the war in Ukraine still going on?
We’re one of the most advanced nations on earth with a healthy economy and stable political system. Given what leaders and citizens in Ukraine have mustered, why can’t we just “fix” what’s broken with our vast resources?
Our knowledge and expertise seems to be narrow sometimes, focused on certain things.
I love the observation that we can put humans in space but we still can’t put metal in a microwave.
I realize many of our problems require money, as well as manpower. But some will argue you can’t just throw money at problems, that we need to find long-term solutions.
But money helps.
Others criticize our various governments for sending resources and yes, billions of dollars, overseas to help others in far-away lands. Well, we do have a responsibility, as members of groups like the UN and NATO, to help our allies. Also, I’d like to point out that no country should ever ignore any humanitarian crisis, regardless of where it’s taking place.
That being said, yes I’m sure various levels of government right here in Ontario can “loosen up” a few hundred million dollars to add shelter beds, get youth off the streets, help with affordable housing and ease the pain of poverty and inequality.
This not only takes money, but brains, too.
I truly believe we have that in spades. Despite what we may think of them, our politicians and civil servants can muster up the smarts and collective brain power to tackle any social problem we have.
We’re really lucky in King and should count our blessings. From the Municipal Centre to the King City Library & Seniors Centre, to the Township Wide Recreation Centre, we created ideas, secured funding and implemented projects all within a few short years. That’s amazing and a great example of both brains and brawn.
I love the term “no brainer,” when referring to obvious solutions or benefits. Yes, the writing on the wall may be quite plain, but still requires a bit of thought and expertise to implement solutions.
Maybe we’re just lazy, or a bit smug. Maybe we think we’re world leaders and don’t really have to try that hard.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
We Canadians like to think of ourselves as staunch environmentalists and green activists. All we have are a decades-old recycling system, small-scale projects to deal with electronic waste and nuclear power.
No, nothing really new or innovative, here.
We are just starting to bolster electric vehicles, but we’re way behind all other countries in e-bikes, EVs, solar power generation, waste management, and more. We’re falling short of our international emissions commitments.
It’s not for a lack of interest or intelligence. Again, we have an abundance of those. And King residents are doing their part.
Our prime minister even stated that no sector should be exempt from contributing to the fight against climate change and reducing emissions. We should all be using electric lawn equipment, riding in electric cars and taking solar-powered transit.
But we do lack is concerted political will; sufficient funds and private cooperation to change.
Again, leading a horse to water is one thing.
So, if it’s not intelligence and not money, what’s standing in our way to bringing our world and society to a higher level?
Why can’t we get our collective acts together for the common good?
It’s high time to legislate common sense, a sense of purpose, direction and change.
Who’s for it?



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