Recently I have been on the MidlandToday.ca comments section far too much. The reason has been that I have been alarmed and horrified by the belittling and brutish behaviour there, especially with respect to the comments section. The worst part? It’s not the Covid-deniers and anti-vaxxers that have been the worst, it has been those who have feel justified in their attitudes and actions, “because it is for the public good (health).”
This, however, is not about the politics of that, but my growing frustration with the feeling that if I had more skills (and less tendency to get caught up in fray, while trying to get folks to be more reasonable) that I would be more effective at helping create a better society.
At that same time though, no one else has seemed to be making a concerted effort to get that kind of thinking into the public realm, and therefore if I want to see change I have to be the one to make the effort to see that change happen.
I try to keep from feeling so vital or responsible that it has a major negative impact on my mental health when things are still divisive and hateful. So far I’ve mostly been doing okay with that, but there are time I just need to ‘vent’ (like now) about my frustration and tiredness (and sense of failing to achieve this important change).
There is also part of me that is suspicious about what is feeding this division and coercive approach to the pandemic (on all sides). I have the sneaking sense there are ‘malicious actors’ that are fuelling this fire. Absent proof however there is not much to be done about, nor even said, without looking like a conspiracy theorist, even if I would not be saying “It is thus and so”, but asking the questions: “Is this happening? How could we determine if it was?”
I have to remind myself I can only do my best, and make public my thoughts (like here), in hopes that someone in a better position to address the concerns will see or hear the message and work on it.
In the meantime, I’ll try to stay healthy, and try not to feed a fire that needs taming and brought under control.
Daniel F. Dickinson — August 29, 2021