In the late 1960’s a teen and twenties movement took shape in North America.
Free love, flaunting authority and self- actualization – just a few of the terms thrown around at the time. University presidents were targeted as unsavoury establishment front-men (yes, the term “men” was still in use back then), the Jesus movement arose challenging the old liturgies of the church, and business faced the stark reality of new recruits whose personal mission was to upend the current business model.
These baby boomers attempted to recreate their world in their image. What was left over or never accomplished has been passed on to their children.
The bold desires of the youth of a half century ago are now starkly portrayed in the actions of a new generation – fighting for their own freedom. Meanwhile, the old ones are not always sure the young ones are getting it right! Environmentalism has slowed industry to a standstill. Broken relationships have bred a new definition of marriage. Polarized politics confront a desire for inclusion.
Into this circumstance, we walk – with a dire economic reality facing western Canada. A food guide has undermined cattle production, dietary restrictions have redirected grain markets, and oil is without transport or long-term sustainability due to environmental concerns.
Is there a new grass roots movement afoot?
A movement begins with common ground – in this case the economic viability of the resource sectors. At first the concerns are shared by a few, then by more and finally by a groundswell of adherents.
We create rallies and forums – complaining about environmentalists and foreign intrusions into our business. Young champions begin with yelling and demonstrating. Older champions, seasoned veterans, have a measured response – aimed at gaining the most political leverage and using a strong communication strategy.
Meanwhile, the message appears to be ignored. And we wonder, what next for Western farmers and oil workers? Reality runs rough shod over the movement’s dreams and aspirations. They may never inherit this world or the treasures of this world. Is it time to give up – let the movement die?
Let’s use a biblical insight!
Blessed are the “poor in spirit” – those who are counter to the current cultural climate and spirit of the age. Continuing in the biblical thread, a movement will experience mourning, will know their limits, will recognize when they are wrong, will seek for peace, will hunger for justice, and will be merciful – even as they are persecuted for doing what is right.
That is how a grass roots movement grows.
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