rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

It's going to take young and old to ensure a better future for B.C.

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Voting Place

When I was 30 years old and in my first months of training to be a family doctor, my grandmother, my last living grandparent, died. She struggled with many health conditions and had many surgeries in her life, but her leukemia took her life more quickly than we expected. She was happy on the far side of a very hard life, and she was ready to say goodbye. But it came as a surprise to us and left me with a deep void for my elders now deceased, and I write to you now from this place.

When she was young, my mother and her parents arrived in Ohio as refugees. (My dad has a similar story, arriving in Canada.) They escaped war, and came to North America with the inevitable trauma and resilience of people who survived war, and hope for better future for their family. Their hardship continued; as the eldest child, my mom supported the family through experiences of illness, poverty, illiteracy, discrimination and fear, and this took a toll on her. But there was always hope, and in a strong post-war economy, tireless work, and small steps up the economic ladder paid off.

I am the first generation in my family not to grow up in poverty and I notice my privilege every day. This is part of the story about why I advocate tirelessly for a stronger public health care system in Canada, and for people struggling with the health effects of poverty. It all hits close to home.

But I need your help. Much has changed since the early 1970's when my grandparents were my age. Perhaps the most important change that I witness in my work and in my life, is the lack of hope. Through much hardship, my grandparents were able to steadily build a better life for our family. But now, for so many British Columbians, this is no longer the reality:

For people young and old, there is a lot here to worry about -- maybe too much, so instead we just do our best to get by. Maybe differential abilities to look away from the future are related to voting trends split by age in the U.K. and the U.S. in recent elections. But I also know that at the core of a grandparent's love is their hope for their children and grandchildren's future. So this is a plea from the younger generation to the elders: please don't look away. As we fight every day (even those of us with privilege) to afford rent and find hope, please help us.

You can help us in this election by getting on the phone today and tomorrow and asking the younger people in your life to vote, or to ask what matters to them in this election. Consider voting together, or offering child care so that they can go vote. I think we all find hope in similar places, including in coming together to fight for what matters.

For example, you can find a guide to voting for health, for the environment, or for electoral reform. You can also vote with the Aboriginal peoples whose unceded land we live on.

Young people believe that we can change things for the better, like my grandparents did when they came to North America. Today, we see hope in movements of sustainability, community-building, and smart policies that build not both stronger economies and hopeful futures. But we need help in building this better society. We need government's help, and we need your help. Please, pick up the phone, talk to the young people in your lives, and help us restore our hope for a better future.

Image: Flickr/Beth

Please chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.