Please let’s not go back to normal

Please let’s not go back to warehousing the elderly in for-profit homes where they cry for help for hours and are force fed.

Please let’s not go back to stuffing people onto airplanes like sardines in a can.

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Please let’s not got back to pretending animals don’t suffer before becoming food on our plate.

Please let’s not go back to pretending people don’t suffer in the production of cheap clothes.

Please let’s not go back to pretending the environment doesn’t suffer when we get on a plane or start up our trucks.

Please let’s not go back to pretending minimum wage is fair market value for essential workers.

Please let’s not go back to dehumanizing the street people, the poor, the sick, the drug and alcohol addicts, the mentally ill, the traumatized, the lonely and the lost.

Please let’s not go back to treating Indigenous people like they are little more than welfare cases, like they contribute nothing to society, like their history and language and traditions don’t matter and like they are second-class citizens in a land where they arrived first.
Please let’s not go back to treating resource development companies and the people who work for them like they are only pillaging the planet for profit while ignoring the good-paying jobs they provide and the schools and hospitals they pay for through taxation.

Please let’s not go back to treating environmentalists like tree-hugging hypocrites while ignoring how their efforts have made (and continue to make) real, positive change to life in this region and on this planet.

Please let’s not go back to treating our elected officials like self-serving, attention-seeking parasites and instead urge them to be better, disagree with their views bluntly but respectfully and thank them for their commitment to public service.

Please let’s not go back to treating judges, lawyers, journalists, teachers and academics as if they are lazy, agenda-driven hacks, instead of the bedrock of our democracy.

Please let’s not go back to treating our doctors like pill pushers, our nurses like maids and our pharmacists like ticket takers.

Please let’s not go back to running to the doctor or the hospital every time we stub our toe or get the sniffles.

Please let’s not go back to going to work when we’re sick because the boss demands it or because we don’t want to look weak (and let’s stop judging when our staff and colleagues do call in sick).

Please let’s not go back to claiming gun ownership for uses other than sustenance hunting is a fundamental right.

Please let’s not go back to treating women like they aren’t as good as men, especially in the workplace, and let’s stop making excuses for sexual harassment and assault.

Please let’s not go back to using our religious beliefs as weapons to attack those of other faiths, instead of focusing on the core message of loving our neighbour as we would love ourselves.

Please let’s not go back to denying white privilege and male privilege, especially if we’re white and/or male, and let’s listen to people who aren’t white and/or male when they explain how that privilege benefits us and hinders others.

Please let’s not go back to claiming climate change is a hoax, vaccines are poison and immigrants and refugees are threats to Canadian identity.

Please let’s not go back to thinking that paying taxes for the common good is bad.

Please let’s not go back to the sole measurement of productivity being workers at their desks and in their shops, rather than the quality and quantity of their actual work, regardless of where they actually do the work.

Please let’s not go back to long, wasteful commutes to work or flying everywhere for business.

Please let’s not go back to thinking today’s young people are spoiled brats who don’t know the meaning of hard work and tough times.

Please let’s not go back to thinking today’s old people are cranky geezers with little wisdom or insight about present challenges.

Please let’s not go back to thinking that everyone gets what they earn and deserve, ignoring how much luck and misfortune shape life’s success and failures.

Please let’s not go back to wealth being the sole measurement of success.

Please let’s not go back to money being the sole measurement of well-being.

Please let’s not go back to resenting others for having things we don’t, instead of appreciating what we do have.

Please let’s not go back to resenting people for not doing enough, instead of doing more ourselves.

Please let’s not go back to dismissing the deviants, the rebels, the malcontents, the artists and the visionaries as abnormal.

Please let’s not go back to thinking normal is fair to everyone.

Please let’s not go back to accepting normal as if it’s great.

Please let’s not go back to believing normal is normal.

Please let’s not go back to normal.

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