Just how wonderful was that?
This week was seriously cool for me. I feel like I actually did something. I feel like the kids participated in something tangible and realistic. And I don’t feel like it’s going to end here.
So my thoughts last night were that Better Ideas really do make for a Better Calgary - a BetterYYC. I truly believe that Nenshi’s Better Ideas will get City Council and therefore the city back on track. And through my efforts I helped to start the conversation within Calgary. My attempt last night was to close the circle and more or less repeat how I announced I would be backing Naheed in the election.
Oh, no. That’s not good enough for DJ Kelly. He’s not going to accept the pleasant enough idea that I’m willing to pledge to work with our new council in order to get Calgary moving in the right direction. He has to go raise the ante again.
I don’t think there has ever been a day I’ve woken up in the morning and wanted to make Calgary worse. But I’ve been annoyed with how much garbage collects along the 17th Avenue SE hill and did nothing about it. I pass there four of every five days either riding my bike or walking up or down the hill. I’ve grumbled about it, but nothing is ever going to change unless someone does it. And clearly it hasn’t been done often enough for my taste. So, pledging to pick up a bag of garbage was nothing.
It very well may be a futile task as garbage continually blows along Blackfoot Trail, Deerfoot Trail, and 17th Avenue. It’s not about futility, it’s about making a BetterYYC. Somehow, in the smallest of ways.
I listened to Naheed in the media today when they spoke of the Nenshi strategy to identify the hyper-involved people on social media and let us carry the message out. I was involved, but certainly not hyper-involved. Not until I felt snubbed at the Bow River Flow festival. Then it became personal. I really wanted a mayor that was going to work with everyone in council and get some better policy in play. I feel almost used because I played along with the Nenshi strategy perfectly, but the Better Ideas are more or less my thoughts articulated in a much fuller way.
Initially I was skeptical that Naheed was sincere - wow, was that off the mark. Then I was skeptical that Naheed could deliver. Then I decided I had to become the change I wanted to see in the world and I had to pitch in.
We had some great choices in candidates this year. Some were not for me, others were appealing for a whole number of reasons. It was a tough choice and I took it seriously. In the end, I picked who I thought was best for the right reasons. Others made opposite decisions for what they thought was the right reasons. The point of an election isn’t that we’re right or wrong. Everyone gets to make their choice based on their own feelings. The most votes win and we can trust in the strength of collective intelligence to hope we get where we want to go. We will make mistakes - we have made mistakes - and we’re going to be wrong about half the time. But collectively, humanity has shown our outstanding ability to bring change around us.
Others had pitched in on their teams for the exact same reasons I chose Team Nenshi. We all worked hard, we all did amazing. I met amazing, passionate, smart, funny Calgarians. I mentioned a few people I had new found respect for, but I genuinely mean I felt growing respect to so many people on #yycvote, those at the forums, and those who went door knocking. This isn’t about Team Nenshi anymore, it has become true for all of Calgary’s citizens.
When I listened to Naheed’s acceptance speech, I have to admit something he said touched me.
But in particular, I want to thank Ric McIver. If you had told me six months ago that I would have gained so much in respect, in admiration for this man, for everything he’s done for this city, I’m not sure I would have believed ya. But I have. He has been an outstanding leader for this city and I hope that he will continue to be an outstanding leader for this city. Thank you.
He knows exactly what respect means to me. That makes Better Politics in a BetterYYC. In a significant way.
A funny thing has happened while we’ve been discussing the narrative that the Purple Wave has caused around Calgary.
Let me start with me. Wayne Stewart, let’s get in contact and let’s keep making Calgary a great city. I completely want to work with you to do something to make a Better Calgary. Big or small, it doesn’t matter, I want to rally to your flag.
That’s not really news, though.
The second is an email from a very close friend. “Thanks for helping to make a difference. I’m not quite as gung-ho as you but you’ve got me thinking a bit about extracurricular time put into something to something.”
The third is a tweet from one of the awesome people from Team Nenshi.
This isn’t about doing something nice today and forgetting about it. This isn’t about doing something good every day for a couple of months and then letting it slide. This is about making a BetterYYC forever. In a powerful way.
She gets it. That is what happens when you’ve become infected with the Purple Plague. You want to become a better citizen in a BetterYYC. We want to feel really proud about our city. But remember, the Purple Plague comes in all colours of the rainbow.
So I want people to talk about it. This isn’t trumpeting your own horn, it’s about inspiring others to create their own Better Calgary. Do something, do anything, that makes our city better in some way. Go ahead, be idealistic for a while. We’ve already made one “impossible” dream happen this week. We can help by keeping up the momentum on positive change.
Take your kids to a park, be a snow angel to a neighbour, politely offer your seat on the bus, go volunteer at the food bank for a day. Do all those things we normally do each and every day. Just do one thing that’s special and perhaps a little extra. It’s your choice, there aren’t rules here.
My dream right now is to have two strangers on twitter enter the exact same tweet at the exact same time.
Today I smiled at a stranger, and the stranger smiled back! #BetterYYC