Somebody asked me why on Earth I suggested giving enemies respect and opponents a hug. Well, why not?
When you launch personal attacks against a person you disagree with in order to negate his or her claims, it’s called ad hominem.
I don’t know what it’s called when you insist those who disagree with you are spreading misinformation because you are the only one who has the facts, but it seems to me it’s the same tactic, discredit the opposition instead of debating.
Recently I heard a talk by Van Jones, a U.S. environmental advocate and civil rights activist (they seem to go together, don’t they?)
He said the over-30 generations won’t rock the boat because of the fear they might lose what they have.
Younger people haven’t accumulated as much in the way of material goods (or debt) so they are more likely to speak out. He told of asking one young man which was more important, hugging a tree or hugging a child. The young man replied he had two arms — he could hug both.
Here we are, heading into the 12th year of the 20th millennium. As I write this, the future looks murky.
The global economy is shaky. Mankind seems to be hell-bent on destroying the environment. The Canadian and B.C. governments seem to think the answer to both issues is to sell our natural resources to as many foreign countries as we can. It used to be a joke that Canadians were hewers of wood and drawers of water, but we’re it more than ever.
Hopefully, and we have to have hope, the coming year will be a good one. If I have a wish, it’s that in 2012 we will be kind to each other, and we will try harder to pursue our dreams without wrecking the world for future generations.
Happy New Year.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.