In my travels I always manage to stumble into conversations that have a political undertone. In restaurants, airport terminals, offices or more social settings, it is a common interest for people to discuss the state of our Nation and share their opinions with each other. It would be fair to say that politics intrudes on many aspects of our lives.
One of the greatest thinkers of the past century was Albert Einstein. And while not all of us are interested in the theory of relativity and how physics relates to our everyday living, he was a very practical thinker with simple and inspiring advice. It was Einstein who said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Do we need to change some of the systems and behaviours in our communities and give something new a try?
With the development of a Cree constitution underway, now is the time for people to be even more aware of their political ideologies. A constitution can be explained in many ways, from describing the wonderful possibilities it can create to defining what its basic principles entail. It is both simple and complex, but a constitution is, essentially, the foundation of an autonomous government.
If the Cree Nation is taking steps to build a modern economy and propel themselves forward, we need to make sure that as Cree people, as a Nation, that the constitution we adopt becomes something each Cree person can see themselves included in.
We have chosen to adopt a democratic approach to our politics, ensuring we all have a voice. Thinking critically about the issues that affect us defines our participation in the very democratic society we value. Our ability to effect change does not depend on what we have done or what jobs we have. We all have the power to cause change.
We can choose to be great. We do not need a visible position within our communities or governments to speak frankly or write provocatively about the things that matter. Our choices can be the measurement of success, for our governments, for our Nation and for our future.
We need to focus less on the idea that money can fix our problems and more on what we can all offer as members of the Cree Nation. It is not a matter of needing more money, but using our money more efficiently. It’s a matter of making sure we are contributing real input, not just inputting our energy to the dispersing of money.
Our public officials do not own their positions; the ownership belongs to our membership. When we don’t participate, we affect the democratic process and change its concept. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves.
It is not hard; we do it on a regular basis when we talk about these things with our coworkers, our families and friends. Let’s take that and do something with it, do something larger.
My theory in life is that there is no set way to do things; if something doesn’t work then you change it. If that includes modifying it, improving it or getting rid of it and trying something new, then so be it. On a political scale, that could include re-evaluating everything from status quo working conditions, to fixtures in organizations that do not have anything new to contribute, hindering progress. No disrespect intended, but we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that was used to create them.
While I have been called everything from feisty to un-diplomatic in my efforts to change the world around me, I have never been one not to ask questions when I have them. In fact, as my mentor points out, I listen too fast and should realize that I do not need to understand everything in the universe. But who doesn’t have things they have to work on.
Which begs the question: just who I am to write this column? I am simply one person who cares. I would have to say that Einstein sums it up for me once more by saying, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”