A Fruitful Future

When Sam was here, we had a conversation about “what comes next”. Sam is from Vancouver and was on a Katimavik program, the LAST Katimavik program thanks to an unfortunate and pervasive worldview that is so focused on survival that it forgets to ask what we are surviving for. Sam is remarkably aware and well-grounded for an eighteen-year old and I can’t help but think that the course of his future and those he connects with is altered by his participation in programs like Canada World Youth and Katimavik.

The nice thing about having people stay in your house, is that you can have conversations that extend of over many days, interrupted by life’s activities and with opportunities to think or learn between each chapter of the conversation. One such overlapping conversation was about What Comes Next.

What Came Before is best illustrated through architecture in as much as it represents forms of governance. It is probably obvious that the concentration of power of any given period in history can be  identified by the largest buildings; the clan Chief’s hut, the Church, the King’s Castle, the Parliament House, the Bank. I think what is true in our time, that might not have been true in past times (though it may have been) is that while we can see that the banks are the biggest buildings, we want to believe that Parliament is still the seat of power. So the question is, after banks, as a representation of corporate power, what comes next? Evidently, something always comes next.

I live in an area of Hamilton where there is a lot of talk about folks living paycheck to paycheck, but when I look at how many houses in Toronto cost a million dollars or more, I think many of the folks at higher income brackets are also living paycheck to paycheck. In both cases the people in question are in survival mode, and I have long felt that survival impedes evolution.

It seems to me that we are in a time of transition, between this and what comes next. A time when values are being questioned and many people are seeking meaning. It seems that the legacy of a consumer society is that we are all left feeling like we are getting ahead, but in entirely the wrong direction. If we continue on the path that we are on, it looks inevitable to me that we will see a hardening of separation between us and them, whoever us and them are. In times that came before, accumulation of power has largely been geographically tied, but in a global economy, a global awareness, it seems that this separation must necessarily be vertical, played out in terms of dollars and cents, separating those with more from those with less. Of course, here in Canada, our cents are being eliminated as the absence of them has more value to those with dollars, the the cents do to those without.

At the same time I see a growing alternative to what comes next, a contender, if you will, that embodies values such as local, organic, sustainable, environmentally responsible, inclusive, innovative, creative, community. It is a movement that values living, and not just surviving. I see these values being shared by different groups, each with their own emphasis; some of them are churches, some of them are environmental organizations, some of them are financial trusts and some are municipalities. Luckily, the same tools that make global super powers possible, are also making local-interconnectedness possible. This is what Sam and I discussed during his visit.

As we tried to ponder the kernel of what unifies these groups and movements and differentiates the direction of this alternative future from the path that we are on, I think it could be summed up by the idea that we will only go as fast as our slowest member. Our slowest member might be a person, or it might be the vast tracts of arable land trying to remember what real seeds are. Necessarily then, such a transition is slow, but I believe as relentless as nature herself as each person, each group, sows the seeds of our shared future.


3 thoughts on “A Fruitful Future

  1. Very interesting thoughts and ideas. What is our future or what should our future be, well if you ask me……………….Here goes, instead of endless discussions, we are bound to act in a more fiscally responsible way. Due to the debts that our ellected officals have imposed on us federal, provincial, municipal, regional, county and more. These depts were incurred to satisfy the percieved social needs. Could nobody say NO “we can’t afford it NO there was nobody with the courrage to do it. It started with the Truedeau Government when they abollished marrage. The unintended results…..62 % of all
    children are born out of wedlock to single woman and absent fathers a whole industry has developed. I don’t have to list them, you know. Now we have men marrying men and women marrying woman. Well here is the solution. We totally abolish marrage and all the benifits no more baby bonus no more baby sitting services get rid of the child welfare service let the mothers fathers sisters brothers aunts uncles friends take care of the problems we can’t afford these services any longer.
    Althought the Parliment buildings are beautiful. We can turn them into a museum and the politicians can tweet e’mail telephone skype facebook or just send letters. they can stay in ther ridings and do our business from home .Here are some of the saving we won’t have to pay for there offices in Ottawa we won’t have to pay there travel this is just some of the expences we can save.
    We could make teachers professional by closing half of the schools and opening the rest 24 hours. then then teachers can work and make as much money as they want to at $40.00 per 40 minute class. Teach more earn more simple. We could stop the subsidy on the private bus service they could take the private buses and pay the fares. I could go on in ways of saving.
    But just WAIT!! the chickens are coming home to roost. If we don’t get our house in order the banks and our other lenders will and our children and grand children will curse us. THE GIVE ME. THE GIVE ME, I WANT, I WANT, YOU OWE ME, YOU OWE ME, I’M NOT RESPONSIBLE, I’M NOT RESPONSIBLE I WANT IT FOR FREE GENERATION KNOW THIS NOTHING IS FREE….SOMEBODY HAS TO PAY AND IT’S YOU NOT OUR CHILDREN LET THEM SCREW UP THERE LIVES. NO ONE IS DISABLED THEY ARE ALL ABLE.
    Fraser McBurney
    coments please food for thought.

    • Fraser, if there is one thing I know, with 100% certainty, it’s this: If someday the whole neighbourhood had to flee en masse, on foot from some disaster be it economic, or natural, you would, without a doubt, be bringing up the rear and making sure that not one person was left behind. And this thought comforts me.

  2. Thank you Rebeccah your coment is true I am always ready to help it comes from my father and mother as well as my grand parents as well as the Boy Scouts “be prepared to do your duty” thats when the Scouts were a para-millitary instead of what we have today.
    Fraser McBurney

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