Is Government Your Saviour?

Is Government Your Saviour?

 Merriam-Webster defines savior or saviour as 1: one that saves from danger or destruction 2: one who brings salvation. Looking at point one it is easy to conjure up images and stories of the knight in shining armor, comic book superheroes, or modern day firefighters pulling a fellow human out of a burning building. With the second point, individuals with religious and/or spiritual beliefs may make a connection to God, Jesus, Mohammed, Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Mother Earth, or Creator. What about Government? Have you ever thought of politicians, premiers, or the prime minister as your saviour? I can honestly say that not once in my life have I envisioned our current Premier here in Alberta Jason Kenney, or our Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the same level as Iron Man or Captain America. Justin may have had superhero hair when he first took office, but that is where the super ends and even the hair these days is less than to be desired, somewhat decent during the summer appearance at the BLM protest appearance, but far from spectacular during the daily talks delivered from the porch pulpit. Watching Kenney & Hinshaw deliver to the province from their comfy chair thrones on Tuesday February 2, 2021, appeared to be a mixture of both listening to their subjects and scolding them equally. It resembled more of an eerie, royal, parental archetype figure, than that of an elected official, and far from the saviour archetype they may have been hoping for.


Almost everyone will agree that back in March and even April 2020 the majority of Canadians and Albertans were in support of a two week temporary lockdown to 'flatten the curve', with a key concern being that if too many people became sick all at once it would overload our current health care system capacity. At this time we were presented with a model/forecast of three possible outcomes – a worst case scenario if we do nothing, a best case scenario, and then a conservative scenario existing somewhere in the middle. Looking back, the actual number of cases in Alberta landed at about 1/20th of the best-case scenario when we observe data collected from April – August, that is 20 times better than protected. Yet the lockdown wasn't simply two weeks, it became far longer than that, and the initial FEAR that allowed us to comply was based on data prediction models that looking back, were exaggerated over 20 times worse than actual reality. In line with that old adage, if you think the worst, and the worst happens, you suffer twice, and even if the best happens you still suffer, and suffer we did.


The first individuals to voice this were predominantly those containing the highest levels of masculine energy. They voiced their concern the loudest as businesses were shut down, and jobs were lost. Masculine sees work, protection, and providing as essential, to provide is to have purpose, and when purpose is lost, what is left? Some turned to drowning their sorrow with drugs & alcohol, and others began to exit perfectly good bodies, not just men, but children as well. Not being able to visit loved ones that were ill, or have a funeral to those that passed, left many in states of ongoing grief, without closure. Unable to visit relatives in care homes left many of our seniors experiencing a deep loneliness, some to the point of opting for an assisted exit out of life. Fear is one thing, but worse than that, guilt, regret, despair, feeling powerless, and hopeless.


Others became angry, and turned their anger towards blaming government, big tech, and big brother. News of isolation sites/camps began to be shared on social media, after having been posted on the government procurement website MERX. Rating levels of elected officials began to drop, and with that pressure of the people, a glimmer of hope, as businesses began to re-open, a return to living life, and most people began to once again become optimistic.


Then the news came, rising cases, back to lockdowns, and if you don't be really, really good, we will have to cancel the traditional family gatherings such as Christmas. The odd point though this time, especially in Alberta, was the hypocrisy of the decision. Case in point, Premier Kenney praised hair salons and massage therapists for not a single contact trace having originated due to an Albertan having received a hair cut or having had a massage, yet both of these industries were shut down, again for over a month. Now why is this point important? Because the decision was made contrary to the government data they provided to Albertans. Based on all of the data provided, no logical reason existed to close these industries. Then why such would our government make such a clearly illogical decision, contrary to data they presented just the week before? And if the government makes decisions based on predictive models that turn out to be proven incorrect in numbers over 20 times actual accounts, and they also make illogical decisions that contradict the current data they have, what does that say about the leadership of our government? Can we trust the data we are being provided? Can we have faith in government predictive models? And as far as confidence in government decision-making capabilities, fool me once….


But again, why hair salons, why massage… this alluded me… causing me to put on the ol' Sherlock hat and ponder. Just kidding no special hat, listening to music, and audio books is what I use to spark intuitive capacity and right now I am listening to Echo Beach, the hit song from Martha and the Muffins, Echo Beach far away in time… eerie, kind of like those of us daydreaming of vacation, our thoughts of visiting ANY BEACH with travel cancelled from Canada to Sunshine destinations… far away in time. And why cancel travel to the Caribbean and Mexico, the sunshine destinations, and not cancel travel to London, UK and Johannesburg, South Africa, weird? Come on Martha, Muffins, what is the reason, what is the connection? Soon we would see the answer especially with the events over the last couple weeks as another group of individuals would come to their threshold/breaking point, those possessing more of the Feminine energy.


We see aspects of feminine energy encompassing compassion, beauty, family, and they are our true societal caregivers. The last thing we ever want as a society overall, is for the feminine energy to fall. From content, to bored and indifferent, to pessimistic and irritated, overwhelmed, confused, disappointed and worried… we are beginning to see a decline in many of those possessing strong feminine energy. Some are already experiencing disdain, resentment, anxiety, insecurity, regret, and moving towards fear, grief, and depression. What lifts up a feminine energy type; connecting with friends and family in social settings (ex: restaurants, and entertaining at home), taking pride in their personal appearance, having their hair and nails done, personal care & relaxation, going for a massage, working out at a gym, partaking in a yoga class, etc.


The feminine though, can often due without, for awhile, being more willing to self-sacrifice, be the martyr, as they are naturally more caring and compassionate. The feminine energy type produced the slogan 'we're all in this together.' But within the last week here in Alberta, we witnessed a clear shift, with the cancelling of school sports including the king of Canadian sports, youth hockey. Having imposed restrictions that now affect the kids directly has upset mamma bears, and they are very protective of their cubs. As I write this now I can picture Dr. Jody Carrington saying, you know we were regulating, but now government, you've crossed a line. Perhaps not, but I wouldn't be surprised if the recent decision, didn't at minimum, 'peeved' her slightly. Just last week across the province we had youth & teens, picketing on the streets to bring back hockey and team sports, positive activities that we as parents enjoy watching our children take part in. And the result of their efforts, youth sports cancelled, sorry junior, buck up, don't kill grandpa. And now with 'bored' kids, unable to partake in a number of positive activities, what types of activities/concerns/fears might be compounding in the minds of their parents – underage drinking, drug usage, pornography, extensive use of media, underage sex, STDs, mischief, criminal activity, etc. The feminine energy is picking up on all this, and is very concerned.


The Kenney/Hinshaw throne speech this past Tuesday was clearly necessary to re-deliver their never-ending message on saving lives, and re-iterate the importance of compliance, yet a major disconnect had happened, the elusive obvious so to speak, and the in that, an underlying message spoken, became crystal clear. The entire plan, lockdowns, everything is based on and rooted in a FEAR. It has been repeated so often that I truly do believe that both Kenney and Hinshaw, on some level, actually do believe the FEAR they are preaching to the masses. Assuming both of them to be rational and reasonable human beings, I believe they are now themselves fearful, consumed by fear. Seinfeld's character George Costanza would say, "remember, it's not a lie, if you believe it," that said, it also doesn't make it true, correct, logical, or right.


Throughout the throne speech much discussion focused on 'hard choices,' Kenney continually holding up a graph indicating data from October/December that was indecipherable to the viewers watching, and continually repeating that this could happen again if we open, continual mention of concern and fear. Concern of the current health system being overwhelmed and exhausted. Continual concern for the vulnerable, and yet complete lack of acknowledgement for dropping rates throughout the province, including the City of Medicine Hat only having 13 active cases as I write this, out of a population of over 60,000. Kenney soon took on the authoritarian parental archetype and began getting upset with his subjects (aka, Albertans), in a state of shock and disbelief that anyone could be so foolish to question his government's decisions.


One of the problems that occurs when one begins to make decisions out of emotion, especially FEAR, is that one soon begins to make illogical decisions, a scary thing, especially when the fearful are in positions of power. Far better would be to have decisions being made by a calm, peaceful, enlightened, loving, kind, passionate, and inspired leader… alas, few of these types gravitate towards positions of power in the political arena. Most are destined with far more worthy roles to elevate the human condition, and politics, is well, just messy. So lets, for now, give Kenney and Hinshaw the benefit of the doubt, and base their poor decision making on that of two fellow scared humans, consumed and perhaps engulfed with fear, doubt, insecurity, embarrassment, resentment, disdain, pride, confusion, and disillusionment. To err is human after all, it’s the part that continual repeating to err and err, over and over again, that we are all becoming less tolerant of as a mass populous.


A key point of focus has continually been based on the FEAR of overwhelming the current Alberta health care system. One visual image Kenney presented at a noon hour press-conference this past Wednesday, February 3, 2021, was failure to adhere to government rules could result in the Saddledome, iconic to the province and the world-renowned Calgary Stampede, having to be converted into a tent hospital with body bags in the parking lot, a lovely dystopian fear-filled set of imagery to fill the hearts and minds of the Alberta viewer. But what if we just push all of that dark imagery off to the side for a moment. He did mention a key-point that needs to be addressed, the capacity and system failure of the Alberta Health Service model itself. All of this FEAR, at its root cause, is related to capacity issue, and hence a clear gap, flaw and failure exist within the Alberta Health care system itself, right now! The current system has failed, and the government has been continually repeating this message, indirectly, since March 2020. So what do we do about a failed system?


To quote my mentor; "The current system of health prevails thanks to the reductionist method of science. The body-as-machine model could be one way to look at the model, machines are repaired by mechanics who tinker with defective parts, and that's basically what doctors do in their practice. But it's obvious that your body isn't a machine. Your body is alive, for one thing. It can heal itself. It's self-organizing and self-regulating. Exercise makes it stronger, whereas a machine, if used more often, begins to wear out." So perhaps we should re-think opening our gyms, and promoting physical activity, and team sports. Strengthening our bodies is a starting point, to prepare the temple that houses the mind and soul. Back when I was experiencing a point of personal darkness, weighing 285lbs, return to the gym became my lifeline to transformation… even today Universal Fitness members from back then come up to me and recall my transformation. Taking control of ones physical body through fitness, allows one to feel a little bit better, day-by-day. Sometimes that can be enough to contain a confused mind & soul, seeking escape from the body to stay put, just for one more day, and then another… An unemployed individual feeling unworthy can begin to climb out of darkness and conquer 'body', becoming more resilient to daily stress. This individual can then adopt a willingness and optimism to get back to work, to delve into the entrepreneurial realm if no current jobs are available. Locking down business prevents access to this though, in order to grow, money must flow. Locking down business in the province is no different than land-locked resources and cancelled pipeline projects, the product and potential energy is unable to flow.


A re-boot of the entire health care system in the province of Alberta is clearly required, a holistic approach focused on wellness, a systems model approach. As Einstein said, "you cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it," especially if those minds are consumed in FEAR. We need to look seriously at refining our own petroleum products in the province and tapping into renewable & clean energy, transforming the oil worker into the energy professional, and we need to adopt a mind-body connection system model into the way the province looks at wellness and health, with every cell being intelligent and interconnected. Habits, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior are the KEY to wellbeing, since the brain messages being sent affect the whole body system. Positive inputs inserted into mind, will equal positive outputs in body, and vice versa. So simple is the concept that we can teach it to kids in elementary school. Put the good stuff in and get the good stuff out.


Self-care will then become primary care, not reliance on drugs and surgery from a doctor. Beliefs and attitudes will become as important a physical input, as food and exercise. Positive lifestyle changes won't take years, and benefits will begin to be seen immediately. The majority of chronic disorders will become preventable through maintenance of the body system, freeing up hospitals to deal primarily with acute and emergency care.


As we begin to look at our bodies as intelligent systems that learn, adapt, and improve over time, we will move away from the body-as-machine model that compares the body to a machine that like a new car, must deteriorate over time, as this is clearly flawed. Examples of better system input would include: being more relaxed and accepting, cultivating a strong self-esteem, and sense of worth, being of service to others, showing a generosity of spirit, and expanding our awareness. If we begin educating people how to constructively work through negative emotions like anger, envy, and fear, such as punching a heavy bag to release pent up emotion, or taking it out in an art form, such as drawing or writing a blog. We will also benefit by choosing those things that make us feel light in mind and body, questioning our emotions, feelings, and thoughts, and becoming able to let go of those that no longer serve us, or at least push them off to the side for the moment. Getting outside, into nature, sunshine is the natural vitamin D supplementation, something many Canadians are lacking. Recognizing the importance of travel to sunshine destinations for this very reason. Cultivating loving, nurturing relationships, the kind where you actually meet with people, in person, not just over Zoom.


Movement towards adopting a systems model of health could occur faster than one might originally think. It goes far beyond standard prevention, which is based on risks. Recognizing that it is good to avoid risks is important, but whenever we take a line of thinking or reasoning in terms of what can go wrong, it often induces fear, and FEAR IS A VERY POOR MOTIVATOR OVER THE LONG RUN. This can certainly be evidenced in the human lockdown experiment. Failure is a part of life, wisdom is being able to look at a failure, learn the lesson, and adapt for the better, not the worse. Our leaders need to recognize their impact and the position of power they have been granted. Masks can hide emotions, preventing us from witnessing the beauty of a human smile. Oxygen and fresh air is a good thing, breathe in through your nose for a count of four, now out through your mouth for a count of four, and repeat for a couple minutes and notice that you now feel better. Stand up, roll your shoulders back, look up, and reach your hands up to the sky like a starfish looking upwards. Feel the burdens you have been carrying, possibly for years, release now, as you let them go, washing a way, knowing you can always come back and pick them up if you ever feel the need. Turning your focus towards becoming happier an more fulfilled day by day, is a choice that does not require outside approval from a parent, friend, spouse, loved one, boss, and certainly not a government official. Step into the drivers seat, take the helm, and grab the reigns of your divine god-bestowed life, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Having been delivered out of bondage, recognize that to achieve anything worthwhile in this life, IF IT IS TO BE IT IS UP TO ME, and this is a good thing, easy, no, good, yes. You have the opportunity now to look at health in terms of a systems approach, expanding the conception of the body to include everything that is mentally, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually fulfilling.


Now I could leave this at that, and preach just be positive, but that would be just as diluted as a lot of what is being spewed out on social media, in the press, and by many current government officials. You know what I would like to see, a government official come out and say, "Wow, we sure f****d up there!" I for one could appreciate that. It certainly wouldn't excuse it, and they would certainly have to explain how they would be making amends to rectify it, but wouldn't that kind of honestly be a breath of fresh air. For example, I would like to think that the current opportunity on MERX put out by the Federal Government for social media monitoring is nothing to be concerned about, but I would be lying if I didn't voice my doubts. Recognize, that all of this FEAR you are experiencing, is an opportunity right now to be COURAGEOUS. If you have read this far, why have you? Why bother? Probably for the same reason I bothered to write it.


To sum up I am going to share some exerts from one of my favorite movies of all time – Pump Up The Volume. This scene features Christian Slater's character addressing the school that has gathered to hear the pirate radio 'voice' they have been listening to over the past few weeks. "OK, this is really me now no more hiding. Listen we're all worried, we're all in pain. That comes with having eyes, having ears. But just remember one thing it can't get any worse, it can only get better. I mean high school (replace high school with – this present point in time) is the bottom, being a teenager (replace teenager with – being in lockdown, oppressed, unemployed, feeling helpless, feeling hopeless, etc.) sucks, but that's the point, surviving it is the whole point. Quitting is not going to make you strong, living will, so just hang on, and hang in there. You know I know all about the hating and the sneering, I'm a member of the why bother generation myself, but why did I bother to come out here tonight, and why did you. I mean it's time it begins with us, not with politician, the experts, or the teachers, but with us. With you, and with me, the ones that need it most. I believe with everything that's in me, that the whole world is longing for healing, and even the trees and the earth itself are crying out for it, you can hear it everywhere. It's the same kind of healing that I desperately needed, and finally feel, has become with you (replace you – insert whoever or whatever suits you, perhaps it is you)." At this point cue helicopter/police chase scene, and the drive the jeep down into the crowd gathered – "Everyone listen up, it's not over yet, it is just the beginning, but it's up to you. I'm calling for every kid to seize the air, steal it it belongs to you. Speak out, they can't stop you, find your voice and use it. Keep this thing going, pick a name, go on the air, it's your life take charge of it. Do it, try it, try anything, spill your guts out, say s**t and f**k a million times if you want to, but you decide. Just fill the air, keep the air alive!" And now I ask – WHO IS YOUR SAVIOUR? Was Government the Answer?


Copyright 2021 Wesley Paterson

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