Editorial: Changing the subject

Sunny days for everyone

We write an awful lot about politics and other societal ills in these editorial spaces, but sitting in a park on a sunny morning, watching people relax and listening to the birds chirping and grass growing, it all seems so very far away.

In many ways, it is. Worries about whether construction projects are going to be union or non-union, crime rates, good and bad decisions by city councils, even the problems of homelessness and drug abuse, all fade away as we slow down.

It doesn’t mean those problems are gone, or meaningless. They are very real, requiring real thought and real solutions.

But in the discussion, the arguments and the details, the real goal gets lost.

We rarely speak about it, but the overall goal is creating a world where we can all share equally in what the U.S. Declaration of Independence calls “the pursuit of happiness.”

Since we don’t all agree on what brings us happiness, we do need all those rules and regulations, even etiquette, to ensure we all get along, and that one person’s pursuit of happiness isn’t taking away from someone else’s.

It’s not easy to figure out what creates happiness. Too often, we replace that pursuit of happiness with the acquisition of status symbols and other forms of instant gratification like Facebook likes.

We need to have a larger—a more long-term—vision, especially on the part of our politicians and bureaucrats. Politicians have their own version of likes: our votes. Sadly, too often they are willing to pursue election or re-election at the expense of good policy, instead pandering to whatever they think will get the most attention, like fighting a carbon tax, without offering a reasonable alternative.

We need laws, we need solutions to the problems, but we should always have that long-term vision of creating a better place to live for everyone.

The easier path, of course, is to continue on as we have been, crushing the earth under our pipelines, pollution, enough plastic garbage to form islands in the oceans and such. Or we can slow down, relax, and figure what really brings happiness for everyone in the long term, like building affordable housing instead of McMansions for the one per cent.

And then, make sure the politicians know what we want. Their happiness comes from being in office, let’s make sure they know what they have to do if they want to stay that way for a long time.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Terrace dental clinic say no staff experiencing COVID-19 symptoms 22 days after dental conference

Five members of the office attended the Pacific Dental Conference from March 5-7

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

City of Terrace calling on Province to take stricter social distancing measures

The City sent the Province a letter earlier this month with a number of recommendations

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

World COVID-19 morning update: Olympics delayed one year; 12,000 health care workers infected

Comprehensive world news update: Lockdown in UK showing signs of hope

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands as you would after touching any surface or object

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

Most Read