I’m tired of this. Everywhere I turn, people shitting on themselves. On us.
I was waiting in line at a downtown Starbucks & buying a coffee this morning while the guy ahead of me –roughly my own age and dressed in a fairly nice business suit– ordered his $6 latte while he chatted to someone on the phone.
Now, to be clear, if you eavesdrop in a circumstance like this it is –socially and morally, I assume– considered fair-game, because the rudeness of talking on the phone while being served in a busy cafe trumps the rudeness of eavesdropping on (and later blogging about) someone else’s conversation.
But I digress…
the world was about end because of our elected politicians
The gist of this overheard conversation, at least as far I could gather from my eavesdropping, was this: our anti-hero, latte guy was having a business-type conversation and explaining to someone (who seemed to live somewhere outside of Alberta) about the current political & economic situation inside Alberta and why in his opinion (and I’m paraphrasing here) the world was about end because of our elected politicians.
If you’ve been tuned-in to anything relating to current events in Alberta in the last year –and here I’m referring to news, radio, television, internet & social media, newspapers, political groups, social gatherings, holiday dinners or (apparently) eavesdropping on conversations in cafes– you have very likely heard something like this: people shitting on our government, our province and our home. Shitting on themselves. Shitting on all of us. And that’s really —really— about the kindest way I can put that.
you have the right to complain all you want
I’m not going to waste any words here trying convincing anyone to break out of their political viewpoint. We all have reasons for supporting who we support, and there was a big change less than a year ago. The rules changed. Complaining is our right, of course. And you have the right to complain all you want. But I will spend a few words commenting on the impact that this is almost certainly having nearby and all around the world.
Let me put this as (probably overly-) simply as I can: everything you say, write, do, or share has an impact, somewhere and somehow, big or small, intentionally or not. Our brand. Our image. The impression that our home as a place to live, work, play, and invest as much hinges on how we are perceived by the world as anything else. Yes, taxes play a role. Yes, legislation plays a role. Yes, government is important. But your impact through your actions –yes, YOURS, and I know math is hard but it– either adds to the value of that image or subtracts from it. Yours may seem like small, individual impact, but we’re a lot of people when you put us together, and all that negativity is starting to compound.
In other words, you’re either a shitter or a shoveller, and collectively it starting to seem like we’re making a really big & stinky pile of shit.
Now, perhaps you are recently unemployed. That sucks, and I’ve been there. But when you spend your time writing vile messages on social media & fomenting angry insurrection in Facebook groups you compound the impression that this is a terrible place with terrible problems. You’re a shitter.
You may be someone who just took a wage freeze for a job that is already taxing your spirit to the breaking point. I feel your pain more than I would ever write about. But when you call the radio with angry, vague rants about the government you further vandalize our brand as a vibrant place to be living and working. You’re a shitter, too.
It could be that you are retired, watching as the value of your investments slide and wondering how you’re going to live the post-work lifestyle that you’ve been promised your whole life. I get it: I myself think about what the economy is going to be like in 25 years and wonder if the money I squirrel away every month will ever be enough. But this province needs your patient wisdom now more than ever, not the panic you spread through ranting about some fantasy-based memory of a past government that was –and let’s be clear– just more politicians, amiright? You, sir, are definitely a shitter, and one that should know better.
you are literally spreading bad vibes about us like a cancer through the economy
Or, you might just be that guy, a latte-buying businessman angry about politics that don’t align with your own, chatting with a client half way around the world. First, hang up the phone while you order your latte dude. Rude. But also: I get the resentment you feel at not feeling represented by your government, and it’s frustrating, but you are literally spreading bad vibes about all of us like a cancer through the economy. You. What you just did there. You’re a shitter. You’re shitting on all of us. Stop it. Not cool, latte guy, not cool.
People tend to (mistakenly, I think) have this sense that the economy is some kind of magic or random or uncontrollable force that we just need to ride and deal with: in reality, it’s a global perception of value and spirit. It’s about how much confidence real people shuffling around real money have about us and what we’re selling. And sure, we’re selling natural resources. But we’re also selling ourselves. Us. We’re selling the idea that we’re worth hiring, worth buying from, and worth working with. We’re selling our brand and our image as a place and as a group deserving of the investment of time and money and emotion and effort by others.
This isn’t automatic. It’s earned.
Yet, when we give the impression that collectively we don’t even believe any this of ourselves, when we shit on ourselves over and over and over, even if it seems like a satisfying reaction to a tough situation, well… what can I say? Even I wouldn’t buy that.
Sure, it may be your right to complain, but it’s your responsibility to understand something else: that all of your complaining doesn’t come without a cost to all of us. Now, go start shoveling instead.