Fixing the transit mess, installing road tolls, creating bike lanes, are these really the top issues for our city? When polls are done to identify our concerns, who creates the questions? I suspect if the pollsters were closer to ground level, they might be surfacing other issues, especially those dealing with quality of life here in the big big city.
You know how it is when you're having a bad day, when you're worried or grouchy from lack of sleep, or your job is driving you crazy and you think you can't stand one more instance of someone getting "on your last nerve", whether that's a store clerk or a fellow employee or yes, a TTC driver.
I think a lot of people in this city are on their "last nerve", and that has to do less with the issues identified above and more to do with worries and fears in this economic climate. We're realizing that the social fabric we've come to count on is rapidly unraveling and that leaves us frightened for our sons and daughters who are struggling, parents who are aging, and jobs that are leaving.
We see that what we thought was a caring society in reality lets people fall so far they can never recover. It's hard to escape or ignore the evidence on our streets, our sidewalks, or in our public parks. We're bombarded with charities demanding more and more, yet though we give, it seems as though nothing gets better. So we're angry, and fearful, and fed up.
We want to keep our tax dollars rather than give them to people who we're sure waste them.We want to distance ourselves from the homeless, from the needy, because we have to believe they are not like us, they do not have the same work ethic, because, if they are like me and you, then me and you are in more trouble than we thought.
And we're already stressed to the heavens.
None of us wants to feel as though we're absolutely on our own in this world. We want to be sure that if we fall, someone will notice, someone will be there, helping us to get back on our feet. We want to be able to breathe freely, throw off some of the heavy weight we're carrying on our shoulders and enjoy the best this city has to offer its residents. Hard to do when we trade in our idea of a vibrant caring community for a individualistic, Darwinian world.