If only it were possible to see democracy surviving.
Even “just a little bit.”  

But if anything, it seems as if the loss of democracy is on the rise around the world … even here in my beloved Canada.

While phrases such as … “It wouldn’t happen here” … “Discrimination is not part of the our ideology” … “Religious intolerance is not part of who we are” … “Hatred is not part of our history” are often spoken with deep compassion and concern for countries where such things are happening / have happened, when climate change and the coronavirus are added to the existing reality of rising religious intolerance, hatred, violence, terrorism, it’s not surprising that people are asking “Is any place safe these days?”

Schools are not. 
Universities are not. 
Hospitals are not. 
Marathons are not. 
Sport events are not. 
Homes are not. 
Public events are not.
Streets are not.
Religious buildings are not. 
Government buildings are not. 
Shopping centres / malls are not.

The fear grows.
The intolerance spreads.
The hatred increases.
The finger-pointing escalates. 
And the “us” and “them” language develops its own life.

When that happens, we forget that joy abounds: … weddings happen … lives are celebrated … babies are conceived … lives are extended because of medical intervention … children laugh and play … elders share their wisdom and experience, … musicians, photographers, dancers, painters, thespians, calligraphers, potters, weavers, chefs, gardeners, carpenters, fabric artists, knitters, landscape artists, writers and so many others, continue to awaken the creative spirit, touch the soul and inspire the mind.

Why is the focus on the negative and the frightening
… and not on the positive and the hopeful, the joyful, the possible?

Why do decisions made by leaders focus our attention on the death knell of life … and not let those decisions motivate so that new life emerging from the struggles can be anticipated?  

My spirit grieves for the lives that have been lost, the erosion of democracy, the ways selfishness keeps us from changing our habits to protect this planet for future generations.

We can choose to see our world entering the death of the tomb
… or we can choose to see our world entering the birth of the womb. 

A question was posed in my book club along these lines: “Knowing the state of the world today (climate change, conspiracy theories, diminishing democracy, pandemic protests), would you plant a tree?  Or rather, would you not bother?”  

I would plant a tree.  I don’t want to give up and say the world is doomed.   I believe in possibility — perhaps a baby is being born this day or a child is already born who may conceive of a way to save this planet from climate devastation and another find a way to motivate people to a world of kindness, compassion, love, community?

May we not give away our ability to choose to face each tomorrow with hopeful expectation/anticipation … even if it is only “just a little bit.”

© June Maffin

As always, you are welcome to share and comment.  


Photo and Text © June Maffin