Talk less, listen more

In recent weeks we have been thinking about the past – more specifically, people and their impact on us. 

While it may seem odd to admit, the best of life’s lessons came from adversaries in a sense. Everyone can suffer from tunnel vision depending on the subject and although right and wrong have become the measures of most issues, the world is more grey than black and white.

Archie MacRobbie, a force in local politics for decades, often advised rookies starting out that it was important to listen and risk being thought a fool, rather than stand up, speak and remove all doubt. His adaptation mirrored a phrase that has been attributed to the likes of Mark Twain or Abraham Lincoln.

Archie would hardly qualify as a master of the classics with his limited education, but what he missed in grades was more than made up by life experience and a willingness to listen and understand the matter at hand.

Some months ago, back in the old days when Meta still allowed Canadian news on its platform, we recall a resident commenting that an editorial we penned seemed “self-deprecating and uncertain.” While undue criticism can sting a little, for the most part we take it as instructive and a way to better understand a changing world. 

On that particular score, we were glad the underlying message emerged – there are few certainties now. Common ground, absolutes and beliefs are all over the map and it makes it hard to comprehend let alone explain. Admittedly, we find it tough to make sense of a lot of things.

On Tuesday the Liberals gave their fall economic update to the House of Commons. Among the leaked promises, was a huge influx of dollars to address social housing. Despite promises earlier in their first term, funds were not available. Numerous years later, after the housing issue has become a conversation in most families, money is found. 

Back when money was cheap and materials were cheaper, the government did essentially nothing, but now on the verge of a recession they are willing to invest.

Speaking of the Liberals, their leader Justin Trudeau was recently swarmed in BC while at a restaurant. Reports may vary a bit, but the gist was 250 protestors assembled and 100 officers were sent to respond. This is Canada, right? We always marvelled at how accessible our political leaders are and question events that put that at risk in the longer term.

Similarly, dozens of protestors interrupted the Saskatchewan legislature calling for a ceasefire in Gaza some 10,000km away. 

Even students in this area have protested, which is all well and good but what does it mean at the end of the day? 

The other oddity this week we are having trouble reconciling is the abandonment of X (formerly Twitter) by national brand advertisers after its owner Elon Musk tweeted anti-Semitic posts. 

While companies are making choices to protect their brand, government agencies here and abroad have failed to take a stand against hate by pulling from this platform. It’s certainly given us pause to ponder our position here. 

We find it bizarre, made moreso with the revelation that Musk is suing those who labeled his posts as such.

The world seems to be getting stranger by the day. 

It’s a time to listen.