A break from the story is in order as I have other themes that are begging to be considered. I will return to the story at another point in time that is undetermined. The truth is, I don’t know when I will return here with the story. I think I need to take it off line and let it simmer for a while. There is no time for me to engage fully with the story as there are only four weeks remaining until we begin hiking the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain.The subject that jumps out at me at this point is the problem of evil, of darkness that appears to be gathering too many into its fold.
Life in Canada is good, perhaps one of the best places in the world to live if we accept popular opinions and various measures at the international level. Yet, even here, there is a growing shadow that is creating some unease. The economy, politics, poverty, and crime are just some of the problems that are becoming problematical. Democracy seems to be eroding due to the deliberate actions of political and economic interests. People have more material goods than at any time in the past with more time to enjoy those possessions. Yet, our levels of satisfaction are not what one would expect to have given that we are one of the best places to live on the Earth.
What is it that we sense that is threatening our sense of wellness and happiness? Why are we becoming distrustful and insular, a sharp contrast from the past when as a country we were held in high regard by other countries, a feeling that we shared in and believed about ourselves regardless of whether that regard was justified or not? Collectively, we cling to the pride of being Canadians. Yet individually, we feel threatened by threads of darkness that would strip us of happiness. The falling value of the Canadian dollar, the severe drop in oil prices, even the weather seems to be conspiring to bring a good thing to a messy end. And so we worry.
Happiness has abandoned us and we rush to deny it by filling in the growing empty spaces with all sorts of diversions and new possessions. Yet buying something not really needed only because it is the latest version that promises us a way into the happiness that left while we weren’t paying attention, just doesn’t seem to soothe the angst. Why? Who’s to blame for this?
The last place we look for answers is within ourselves. We want others to “fix it” so that we can return to the paradise we seem to have lost. Yet, if we are honest with ourselves, there never was a paradise. It doesn’t help that our media encourages us to find the “fix” in the outer world. It is even made worse when our political structures are eroded by leaders who then encourage us to believe that it isn’t our fault but the fault of the poor, the foreigners, the dispossessed First Nations peoples, in other Canadians who stand in the way of progress that is never explained, never defined.
When I look at what is happening quietly behind the scenes in both Canada and the U.S.A. the image emerges of the “Hunger Games.” Is this our future? In the posts to follow, I want to look more into the “Shadow” that is looming, a collective shadow.