Saturday, August 4

As Time Goes By

It’s nearly two years later from when I last posted. Things have gone from bad to worse. On a professional front, I arrived to a fork in the road and chose a direction that led to a dead end. Not that I have any regrets since it afforded me the opportunity to learn a great deal about the World Bank and the whole realm of international development and finance. I got to write papers on the systemic failures in protecting the rights of poor and indigenous peoples when it comes to infrastructure and economic development projects, and I was invited to attend international conferences where I basically enumerated World Bank failures in advancing social impact mitigation mechanisms. In the end, it was a fun ride but the position I took didn’t earn me any paid work. Frankly, the so-called Millennium Development Goals make for great policy sound bites but have little impact in alleviating poverty and racism.

On a personal front, we are struggling with the loss of an incredible woman, my mother-in-law Sue Potvin. She woke up before I did and noticed that our governments were failing the little people. She worked with a number of independent thinkers such as Mel Hurtig, Lorne Nystrom and David Orchard and went on to launch her own alternative publication, Discourse and Disclosure. Her approach to politics was more issue oriented than my own, but more importantly, she was action oriented. We didn’t see eye to eye on every issue but we certainly shared a strong commitment to social justice and environmental sustainability. Sue became a key contributor to an informal news group that evolved from a bunch of friends sharing articles of interest when it felt like the mainstream media was marching to the same talking points in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

I had the chance to spend quality one-on-one time with Sue in the past many months as she struggled to accomplish her final goals after being diagnosed with terminal cancer in February. I discovered how loved and respected she was by her immediate community – one that she gave so richly to through her volunteer work and generous friendship. I also learned the meaning of grace. She accepted her fate without fear, anger or depression. She paved the way for our acceptance of her loss, so that her husband Don could state so eloquently at her funeral that for many months he cried tears of sorrow but that with her passing he could cry tears of joy.

It has been a time of reflection and appreciation of what keeps us grounded in life – the love and laughter that come from being connected to family, friends and community. World events still anger and depress me. And I hope to write soon about the political, social and economic challenges that influence our future. But for the moment, I raise my glass to the memory of Judith Sue Potvin.

4 Comments:

At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Tracey said...

Welcome!

 
At 2:02 PM, Blogger Beijing York said...

Thanks!

 
At 2:17 AM, Blogger Godammitkitty said...

Welcome back to blogoland. Thanks for the link, too :)

*hugs*

 
At 9:33 PM, Blogger Beijing York said...

Thanks GDK. I've been trying to figure out what to write about next. So many issues that leave me scratching my head.

 

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