bad karma blues

24 March 2009

Recently Rick Mercer did his weekly “rant” on the subject of negative attack ads used by politicians, and implored the leaders of the parties to rise above the practice in the next election (which, sigh, we all know will be sooner rather than later).  He points out that most of us profess to hate these kinds of ads, but politicians use them anyway because they say they work.  I’m not sure why we let them get away with it.  Wouldn’t you learn so much more about a politician/party if they tell you what is good about them and what they can do, as opposed to saying what is bad about the other guy?  

The rant was timely for me.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the plethora of bad feeling, mud slinging, anger, name calling and general bad karma stemming mostly from the political world.  It’s got so bad that it has started to permeate my thoughts on a daily basis.  It’s like I’m thinking defensively, having internal arguments with people who would oppose my views. 

I’ve said it before, but shouldn’t those who seek to govern us, more than any other people in our citizenry, be striving to bring us together rather than divide us?   I live in a country where our “leaders” have waged war against liberals, conservatives, greens, francophones, anglophones, teachers, activists, nurses, single mothers, artists and unions.  Who’s next? 

I believe this underscores the importance of Mercer’s rant.  We are in danger of becoming a country of citizens that hate each other.

It’s got so that I’ve decided I have to do something about it on a personal level, because I refuse to be ruled by negativity.  What exactly that something is, I don’t know; but at the risk of sounding saccharine and “Oprah-esque,” I do know that it starts from personal action.  I thought I might boycott politics and news altogether, but the problem is, I genuinely care about what goes on outside my own little world.  I’m a current events junkie, and that’s not going to change (probably thanks to my Grade 5 teacher, Mrs.  Chavis – but she’s a whole other blog post).  And anyway, if a politician, representing you and me, acts like a dumb ass, or threatens the fibre of our wonderful country, then he or she needs to be called out. 

It’s time to be more mindful of my focus, and centre the weight of my attention on my own little world.  I haven’t volunteered since leaving my last job.  And the Buddhists know what they’re talking about – when you serve others, when you work to make others happy, you achieve happiness. 

Years ago my sister and I resolved to generate the positive, and I do make a conscious effort to do that every day, even if it’s just look strangers in the eye and smile at them, rather than treating them like they’re invisible.  Yes it’s time to readjust my view, less on the large, more on the small; less on the far more on the near. 

Unfortunately, it might all have to start with some letters to those purveyors of negativity, the politicians, stating that my vote will be withheld from anyone or any party that resorts to attack style campaigning.  And following through.  But then turning off the news and going outside to see what’s going on in my neighbourhood.