" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

September 17, 2012

C'mon Vancouver: A Zucchini shouldn't be your Best Friend

Poor Vancouver. I often find myself walking down the street, well, okay, it’s not Vancouver, it’s New Westminster. Same diff. The Lower Mainland all feels the same to me now. Cars. Malls. People in a hurry who aren’t smiling.  

Often, let’s just take a stab at it and say at least once a day, I’ll pass some poor waif who has lost his or her humanity. They've forgotten to acknowledge other human beings, even when one has passed within a shoulder’s length, even when I’m the only one on the sidewalk for blocks. Sometimes I say "Hi" to try and force them to acknowledge me but if they seem like a lost cause, like I can tell that someone or some thing snatched their soul a few years back, then I just bore my eyes into the side of their head and hope that some seed of collective consciousness might sense my animosity and awaken; come to their defense.

People can’t connect in Vancouver. SFU is hosting a forum called Alone Together: Connecting in the City.  The Vancouver Foundation has discovered through research that people are alone more than they want to be. But, c’mon people, take some responsibility. Don’t pretend it’s the “city”.  Are you saying the concrete buildings downtown are causing this state of mass anomie? What about Vancouverites taking responsibility for themselves, one isolated little lost E.T. lookalike at a time, and changing their own behaviour on a daily basis with just one stranger. I'm not saying acting like Steve Martin as Rupricht in that old movie, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels but the occasional friendly acknowledgement surely isn't asking too much is it?

Here’s a brilliant idea. Wonder if anybody has tried it? Look at one person. Look them in the face. Smile. Say Hi. Take off your personal technological isolation device a.k.a. your iPod or whatever your lonely brain cells are currently wired on and just look at someone, up a bit if you're a certain type of guy, that's right, into their eyes. Try it just once a day. Their face isn’t a camera. It won’t break.

PS: I can’t be held accountable for my hostility towards the lonely city. I just returned from the Fall Fair on Salt Spring, which during the Fall Fair weekend wouldn't know isolation if it jumped out of a hay-filled stall and layed a big fat slobbering calf's tongue on the side of its cheek.

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