© National Speakers Bureau
Enjoyed reading Rex Murphy’s weekend piece on political and community leadership in Alberta in the wake of flooding.
“It was fine to see that so soon after the calamitous flooding and all the damage and misery it brought on, many Albertan are full of dauntless cheer and uplift. In their response to a natural disaster, they discovered again the great virtues of common purpose and action. The stories of co-operation among citizens, and accounts of across-the- board efforts from individuals, businesses large and small, and volunteer groups, were a living illustration that the real “politics” of Canada is usually best practiced by its citizens. Where the will and nerve of the citizenry hold fast, almost anything can be fixed or faced.
“Sweet are the uses of adversity” is a hard saying from Shakespeare, and I got a glimpse of its meaning this week. No one wishes calamity or upheaval. But when such occur, the challenge they present often brings out better qualities in people and their politicians.
Assuming loved ones emerge unharmed from devastation, almost any other setback can, eventually, be repaired. Disaster insists on a common response, and people discover in that response some of the virtues that brought them together (as family, town, city or country) in the first place.
The mood in Calgary this week reminded me of those days in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, following the much greater tragedy of 9/11. When the people of Halifax and Gander moved so quickly and empathetically to provide hospitality to stranded Americans, the act of helping and being helped had an enriching effect on both parties.
The flooding hurt many and still hurts. But it also brought with it a refreshment in our understanding of concerted action, and of the beneficial impact of real and honest leadership. Politics, when it isn’t all scandals and entitlements, spin and ego, can be an uplifting experience.”