Remembrance Day weekend, 2019.
I had the pleasure of attending the ceremony at ASIA Sumas school where daughters Lauren and Jordan attend. Since it is a fine arts school it was a very artistic and yet effective program. Daughter Lauren danced in three of the dances. I would like to think I am a good father for attending but the truth is that Lauren came to the law office and put it in my schedule and had two of my client appointments cancelled so I would go. Son Adam did a brief reading at his school of North Poplar elementary Arts school. My involvement will be to lay a wreath on behalf of Harrison Hot Springs Village at the Agassiz cenotaph ceremony on the eleventh. Lest we forget.
Remembrance Day ceremonies bring me to a topic that has been on my mind lately. Of course we all oppose wars and want peace but it concerns me that two of the main ingredients of war are on the upswing lately: hate and hostility. There is more hatefulness in our politics now then I can remember throughout my life which has taken place in the relatively peaceful post Second World War period. Hatefulness in world politics. Hatefulness in the politics of the most powerful nation in the world. Hatefulness even in Canadian politics.
My two years on Facebook, starting when Pam kicked me off access to her site because I accidentally “liked” something, has generally been positive. I have reconnected with childhood friends and people that I truly liked and respected that I had lost track of, and whom I probably never would ever have contact with if not for Facebook. This has been great and brought pieces of my life together. But the downside of Facebook is all the negative, hateful, often racist and anti immigrant, and sexist garbage and memes that find their way to my news feed each day. Often posted by people that I respected.
I have always tried to avoid partisan politics and religion on Facebook and there is nothing on my profile which would cause me embarrassment, except perhaps my pointless musings. But the things people post. Does anyone really think that some crude anti Trudeau or anti Scheer meme is going to persuade someone to vote the way you wish? Does anyone really think that posting controversial and usually inaccurate posts about leaders, groups or other religions or ethnicities has any positive aspect in creating a debate? Well apparently a lot of Facebook posters do.
Social media has provided the average person a platform, but unfortunately it is used too often to foment hate and hostility , even if often done in a very subtle manner.
It is hate and hostility that is the seedbed for wars. Wars may have many political and economic reasons, but ultimately leaders who wish to wage war need a populace consumed by hatred and hostility. We seem to be moving in that direction, whether our hostility is directed at other nations, cultures, religions or even people in our own nations who vote differently.
I will continue to avoid negativity and hate, and will attempt to promote being positive, accepting and inclusive. Feel free to call me a snowflake, liberal, or politically correct or any of the more offensive variants.
Love, acceptance and inclusivity never caused a war.
Lest we forget
Photo by Pamela Palmer
GERALD EDWARD PALMER, LLB
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