Canada used to be known for being friendly and kind; now (at least in the GTA) it seems the meanest people win. Traditionally, Canadians have been held as passive. We do peacekeeping and avoid conflict as much as possible even if that means taking a hit. As comedian Danny Boy joked, Canada is the only nation to receive independence by asking politely. Unfortunately, Canada is becoming more passive aggressive as manipulation, backstabbing, and spitefulness run rampant. It’s like we encourage victimhood and to blame others instead of taking responsibility for our own lives. We’d rather assume the worst of others and make them guilty without trial even if the accuser shouldn’t have authority. Meanwhile, anyone still kind will just blame themselves and/or be too scared of being the next target to say anything and we hide as best we can. The long term ramifications of this will be increased anxiety, depression, bitter divorces, suicide, and everything else that makes life harder – this is terrifying.
For example, in Hamilton two paramedics are on trial for essentially not doing their jobs properly. If this claim is true, the leaders who hired, trained, and kept these two paramedics on staff aren’t good at their jobs or they would have had competent staff. The other option is the two paramedics were good at their jobs and had a bad moment, and the leadership firing them was a huge betrayal and proves they won’t have your back when something goes wrong. Either way, how can anyone trust the leadership? What happened to loyalty? When did it become acceptable for leaders to throw those in their care under the bus to make their own lives easier? The scary thing is I keep hearing stories of leaders who betray their staff as a way to save face. This is disgusting.
Last week a person with a disability had a confrontation with two police officers that was caught on camera and posted on social media; we should be terrified of how rude this person was to the police and got away with it while the officers are being investigated. When did it become appropriate to be condescending and use passive aggressive digs against officers and then claim you’re the victim? If the police aren’t respected as authority, how can any authority figure be given respect whether parents, teachers, managers, or the like? If we can’t be nice to authority figures, how can we expect people to be respectful to each other? Besides, basic social skills teach if you’re mean to people, they’ll be mean back and if you treat people with respect, they’ll likely treat you with respect back – it’s pretty basic. If you’re rude to someone and they’re rude back, you’re not a victim; you’re a participant. What this situation teaches is as long as you are the first to publically complain, you’ll be safe, which encourages backstabbing and fear. Authority figures need to be given authority or we will live in chaos.
The biggest example of why Canada is scary is the case of the teenage girl wanting four trustees fired. When did one person, let alone a teenager, have the power to push for four professionals to lose their jobs thereby throwing them and their families into chaos? What’s crazy to me is I was a top student in high school and a goody-goody, and I look back and shake my head at some of the social mistakes I made, but I didn’t know any better; I was inexperienced, hormonal, and wanting to change the world. Isn’t it normal for a teen to make social mistakes? Add in the fact I remember teen girls have the potential to be the meanest people on the planet; maybe I’ve seen too many movies and/or things are different now, but should one person have that much power to get four people fired? Actually, here’s a better question: What kind of person wants to get someone fired? A bully. Let’s say these four trustees said something inappropriate, why isn’t an apology all that’s needed? To want them fired is cruel and makes this girl a mean person who is making our world scary. What happened to forgiveness or settling conflict privately? This situation teaches the meanest person wins while society loses as we live in fear of being the next target.
The problem is mean behaviours are allowed to continue and grow because passive Canadians are too scared to say anything. Unfortunately, scared people will need to find a coping tool to handle their bottled up emotion and popular choices include drinking, drugs, isolation, and having affairs, which makes life worse. The other potential is people will implode with depression and anxiety issues and/or have random explosions that lead to more suffering. I like to teach there is good in all situations, but letting mean people mean and good people going down bad paths to cope makes it really difficult to find anything. I can do it, but wouldn’t it be better to live a life where finding the good was easy?
Canada used to be a place of acceptance and kindness… I miss that.
In general, we need to remember the importance of compassion for others. We should be sad that someone is put in prison or loses their job because those are awful experiences. Even if it a fitting punishment, we should never enjoy someone’s suffering. If we do then maybe we’ve become one of those mean people I’m talking about.
A passive person who’s pushing himself to say something to show he cares about those suffering. Kindness is important.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people (like me)