“A writer is the sum of their experiences” (Stuck in Love); and a human is often the product of their environment.
This past week, I have experience much and dreamt even more, but I think I need to focus on yesterday’s event that inspired much thought. The University of Alberta’s, “Festival of Ideas”, was an unexpected free gift that makes me proud to live in Edmonton. The two seminars that I attended were: Eldar Shafar’s – The Psychology of Scarcity and a panel dialogue on Truth and Reconciliation with Marie Wilson as moderator and George E. Lafond, Waneek Horn-Miller, Aaron Paquette, and Mayor Don Iveson as the panelists.
Eldar Shafar (Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much) discussed how the Cognitive Capacity (a limited resource or bandwidth) is Captured by Scarcity (we focus on needs) Automatically (our mind has a life of it’s own). He likened this idea to having two suitcases: one large enough to pack belongings and one too small. The person with the small suitcase must constantly make decisions on what to pack, what to buy, and what to leave behind. Eldar seemed to be saying that the poor are constantly focused on urgent needs, and therefore they have diminished mental resources to make important decisions. If this is the case, which his experiments seemed to prove, then another barrier is in place for our poor.
The Truth and Reconciliation discussion seemed to reveal that the reconciliation process between the indigenous communities and the rest of Canada needs to continue to be successful; an apology is a start, but trust needs to be established through action. The strength of the native community was visible at this event; residential schools did much harm, but as Aaron said, “We’re still here, and we have an obligation to live for all who suffered.” I also learned about the idea of Urban Reservations, of which there are approximately 50 across Canada.
So what do I think ?
This type of event is exactly what we stand for at Building Hope. Consider our Philosophy,
“Building Hope requires a firm foundation, and Jesus Christ is our cornerstone. By bringing the compassionate and needy together into community and encouraging all to love in the power of Christ, Building Hope believes that both the needy and compassionate will heal, strengthen, and gain direction.”
We must commit to gathering with people who are in need or feel victimized; we must bring intelligent and informed minds together that can discuss and teach the issues involved; and finally, we must be willing to forgive and love through the process. Proper reconciliation with the poor and native communities will take time, money, and resources; and yes, our focus (bandwidth) will be shifted from money making ventures, but consider the human potential that is lost in these two communities. The power is in the people, not in the money. We need to invest in the poor.
Finally, build an Urban Reserve in Edmonton; we need to give back and gain trust. Love in HIM.