Initially published as a column in the AM News on Friday, July 17, 2015.
Yesterday we landed on Denman Island and luck had it that we got a campsite by the ocean in what could easily be called ‘slice of paradise’. Night came and with it clouds and a bit of rain. Might as well, it is not only needed in our bone dry province but it really suits the ocean well.
We had dinner and listened to the waves. Lights flickered on the islands nearby and on the sky that was occasionally cleared of clouds.
A light came on at the site opposing ours. Then musical instruments, and an impromptu band complemented our night by the ocean. A group of musicians, most of them calling themselves ‘old enough to know that song’ who meet every year on the island for a couple of weeks, managed to add a touch of magic to the night.
For two hours or so, they provided us all with music and laughs. It happens when there you can count the sites on the fingers of your hands. We got to chatting and found out about other campsites on nearby islands where partying takes a different path.
Many young people bring enough alcohol and recreational drugs to party hard, which makes it noisy and unpleasant for the rest of the campers there. No softly sung tunes that invite in, we’re told, but raucous and uncomfortable.
It made me think father then just camping. It’s everywhere and it has to do with everything we do, from everyday life activities we have to do, to the recreational ones. Some people live with consideration towards others, while others live for themselves and do not bother think whether their actions impend other people in any way. Everything we do impacts others and it takes a good deal of brain power trying to figure out why some simply do not care.
It shouldn’t be this way with anything.
Raising our children in a way that helps them learn that everything they do might prevent a lot of heartache down the road.
As we drove through a handful of small communities along the northern part of Vancouver Island, we got to talk to a few people and learned a lot. Many communities have been heavily and negatively impacted by the industries that provided work for most of the people for enough years to make people dependent on it, but recent changes in laws (think the last decade or so) created work vacuums that saw the same communities dismantled and people scattered in search of means to survive.
The story repeats itself at every level. Local people are employed by certain industries (mainly logging here) but often times they see things that oppose their communities’ beliefs, yet speaking up might mean job loss and inability to provide for their families.
Just the same, residents can wake up with chemicals being sprayed way too close to their only source of water and no accountability for what could mean health issues down the road for people who form too small a community to have a loud enough voice to be heard.
These are beautiful places, just like the rest of our province and country, where nothing deleterious to people or nature should ever occur. Not if people would live with consideration for others.
People’s efforts to save beauty and the pristine while also allowing the necessary work-providing industries is the same in every community, be it large or small, except that in the small ones everything is more visible.
With enough consideration and less greed, everyone would have a fair chance to live a life they’d earn with decent work and enjoy the places they choose to live in. Consideration cannot be achieved by secrecy or governments that do not consider the impact of their laws on the very people they govern, but by openness that allows for opinions to be shared and consequences to be understood and if negative, prevented.
Consideration allows for joy as well. Whether it concerns working, vacationing, driving (rather shocking to realize how many tailgaters live in our very province), building a new home or an industrial project, activities that people undertake, individually or as a group, should be taken through the necessary filter of consideration and respect.
Lack of it benefits a handful, while its presence benefits all. Choosing the latter and educating ourselves and our children in that way of living makes all the sense.