I believe we can become a better society.
We can live better lives in communities that run according to our chosen direction. We can live smarter and healthier. We can reduce our pollution and relieve our poor.
Our world doesn't have to be as it is.
It seems to rely on the preferences of politicians, who determine how society will affect us. Our contribution is to vote every four years.
Is this what democracy has become? Rather than cede power to the person waving their arms the wildest, we should choose a person we want to represent us - someone noble, honest and smart.
There are times we feel dragged along by government decisions, when the political will seems to oppose public wishes. If it's municipal, provincial or federal, the more distant we are from the centre of action, the weaker the response to our demands. Ironically, our petitions are often hushed by tax-paid propaganda.
Why are they telling us what we want? Why aren't we directing them in the direction we prefer?
Rather than merely accepting politicians' desires, we should be directing the show.
We won't reach a balanced evaluation based on advising and media coverage. True consensus is reached through face-to-face debate. It isn't a matter of arguing the strongest point, however. We should be asking: what is the best result?
It is healthier to meet face-to-face rather than by mouse and webcam.
This natural network creates and enforces the soul of the community. Sadly, breakdown is evident in the number of thumbs swiping smartphones around restaurant tables.
To live better, we must seek out conversation and break out of the cyber shell.
Pollution doesn't emerge from "some other place." It is produced by each of our movements and purchases.
While the political rhetoric says sustainability's impossible, nations like Iceland have completely turned over to 100 per cent renewable energy. It is our participation and influence that will face us in that direction. We live as clean as we want to be.
If we want to have healthier communities, we must help those who have fallen hardest. The solutions differ from town to town, as varied as we have different fingerprints. How can one federal decision possibly be a solution to each community?
Relieving poverty is a social concern as much as an economic one. Our social abilities depend on where our tax dollars are directed. If communities retained more of the money from income tax and GST, we could get a better grasp on the poverty knot.
It is often asked, what difference can a single person make? The problems we face occur when we turn our backs, believing solutions are on the way. The real answer is to move away from the inactive stance. Take one small step to make this a better place, and see where that takes you.
It is time for us to move up to the next step of civic needs (belongingness, according to Maslow's hierarchy) and start making this a world we want to live in.