I was heading down the 402 on one of those spring-like days we were gifted last month, when I went to make a lane change.
I was no longer comfortable in the lane I was in. I didn’t like the positions held by some of the other vehicles. I didn’t like the speed they were moving (or not moving). And I knew that traditionally, I didn’t ride very well in this lane. It felt uncomfortable.
At the same time, I knew there were advantages to remaining in the lane I was in. There were others that were making it work. And I would eventually reach my destination. I just didn’t know that I would get there is a way that was satisfactory to my particular style of travel.
With my indicator engaged, I did my over-the-shoulder check -- gaining the perspective of where I was going compared to where I was – and I made my move.
Getting ready for election season in Ontario calls these same skills into play.
We all need to do a check, reassessing and reaffirming where we are in our personal thinking and perspective in this very different political climate, in order to make properly informed decisions.
Technology, for all its game-changing gifts, can have a negative effect on information gathering if we use on-line news sources to gather headlines. I am amazed by how many times I am aware of an issue because I read a headline, but didn’t have the time to consume the entire article. I hear it from others, so I know I’m not alone. We are fed news bites and teases all day. We have become skimmers of information.
Gone are the days when my dad would come home from work, lean back in his recliner, and consume four sections of a newspaper, leaning forward intently when something caught his attention or when he shared something when my mother, who had read each section herself with a cup of coffee hours earlier.
Remember those days? Golden.
Issues today are being discussed on the fly and they are happening fast and furious. A provincial election that was lumbering toward us in June got infinitely more interesting last month with the Progressive Conservative leader dropping out – and then in – and then out again. As of my writing, there is no new leader in place, but watching this race has already piqued my interest about a number of candidates.
That’s my point. As we grow, age, alter our life circumstances, sometimes our political view changes as well. I am never going to land squarely with conservatism or with socialism – despite what Chris Cooke thinks. I am a moderate. I move along the spectrum of left and right. I will not be labeled – especially by today’s rabid stream of invectives that demand we are either for or against causes pushed by either wing. I have always found lots of room in the middle. It gives me a place to think; to investigate; to ruminate; to decide. And then to move appropriately based on my ideals.
So heading into election season, I have to determine whom I can best tolerate at the helm because, unlike what mainstream media is feeding us these days, I don’t believe many of us live in the polarity of left or right. I will not be distracted by the recent barrage of social justice issues to believe that is where all change is effected. I also will not be bullied to believe that the only sensible way forward is an every-man-for himself approach, where all social nets are a bad idea used to prop up bad people.
In March, I am in the center lane. But as I travel, toward election day I will have made my shoulder check and moved left or right. But there is much reading to do – beyond the headlines – between now and June.