When the results of Canada’s 2015 federal election were in and it was clear that Canadian voters had given the Liberal Party a substantial majority thereby choosing Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister [since voters re-elected MP Trudeau] I began composing a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to express my concerns about the divergence between Reality as it Exists and Reality as perceived by politicians, pundits, specific interest groups and presented to Canadians by the media as the Truth without any true diversity of thought, challenge, examination or analysis..
Reality does not care what your ideology says is true, what you believe is true or what you want to be true; Reality does not care what we think, it exists separately from us and simply is what it is. Tao of James
While challenging members of an organization about the fact that they not only failed to live up to the values they professed but the fact their actions often violated the values they professed the response was not a rebuttal of my point but a personal attack about being an anarchist because of my use of the tagline “dedicated to non-conformity and creative maladjusted”. Pointing out it was a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King jr. took the wind out their sails and left them scrambling to change the subject from the incompatibility of their professed values and their behaviours.
Speaking in 1963 as part of a series on modern psychoanalysis Dr. King had focused on what had rapidly become a favourite and oft used prejudicial label – maladjusted. Dr. King pointed out that there was nothing wrong with being profoundly maladjusted to a profoundly unjust and unhealthy society; expressing the idea that “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.”
Indeed he proposed the foundation of an organization supporting disciplined non-conformity and creative maladjustment because that group of people did not buy into the nation’s or society’s view of what was and would not abandon their point of view to rejoin the herd, even if it left them in a minority of 2 or 3.
His point was that there was a difference of what was and what a society or nation chose to perceive as the state of affairs; that if you perceive things as fine or wonderful, or you failed to perceive the failure and injustice, you would not see any need to change.
King believed that if a society or nation was to improve – move away from injustice, imbalance and unfairness – it could only be achieved by those who saw the need to change.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein
My parents gifted me with …….well …….gifted reading skills which brought with them curiosity and an ability and need to learn. Curiosity and learning developed thinking and, over time created a polymath.
Studying mathematics, commerce and becoming a Chartered Accountant gave me a feel for numbers; an understanding of numbers, what they mean and what they don’t mean; an appreciation for and ability for gathering the facts – all the facts, not just the convenient or comfortable ones; it gave me an understanding of the economy and the effect of finances on individuals, organizations and governments
Mental illness put me on the streets of Abbotsford homeless, providing a completely different reality to view the behaviours and actions of society and governments from. My journey in search of healthy mental hygiene provided understanding, balance and growth.
Recovery, staying healthy , growing and my WRAP [Wellness Recovery Action Plan] all required me to find a way to challenge and occupy my mind in a productive manner in order to move away from old habits such as turning a grain of sand into a mountain.
Without business planning, problem solving or management to think about and needing something to challenge my mind with, I found myself looking around for that something.
I suppose that since I was living in my car at that point, it was inevitable that my attention would be attracted to the marked discrepancy between the stated purposes and goals of Income Assistance and the reality of the consequences and outcomes arising from government actions and behaviours. Add in the fact that the accountant in me was appalled at the amount of money wasted to no effect and government budgeting, how the budgets were spent, the effects and consequences.
I had over the course of my life thought “How could they have missed xxxxxxx about what they were speaking of and I should write a letter”. It wasn’t until I had become homeless and was working on my mental health hygiene
Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions.
Martin Luther King jr.
Over the years there had been numerous times I had read a article or watched a report where I felt that important ideas or questions had been missed and told Myself I should write and raise those points and pose the questions……. but had never been able to write.
Your words expose a great deal of ‘self ‘; setting your words down on paper puts that self out into the public sphere.
When you are creatively maladjusted you address issues people do not want to acknowledge exist much less address and speak of those truths people not only do not want to face but will go to extraordinary lengths to deny.
It was not until I had been working on my mental health – on ME – and attending Al-anon that I was comfortable enough with myself to commit my words to paper and to the public sphere, knowing that these were thoughts, points and ideas that needed to be part of the public discussion – and not be hurt or destroyed by the negative reaction.
Because the complacent majority, politicians and the special interests are not going to react favourably to a call for change that involves a threat to the status quo and a shift in paradigms.