The holiday season means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Regardless of your beliefs or your traditions, this is the time of year when most of us look forward to spending time with family and friends. We share stories, have a laugh or two, and hopefully take some time pause, relax and reflect on the things that mean the most to us.
Between celebrating our own festive traditions, catching a nap or maybe watching a favourite holiday movie, there may also be time to connect with those who we haven’t seen or talked to in a while. For many activists, the passion for our beliefs doesn’t shut off during the holidays. This makes it the perfect time to have a conversation with those around us about why we do what we do, and how important it is to every person in Ontario who works day after day to make ends meet.
So, in among all your hectic activities, make a note to try to have a conversation. Talk to someone who may not know why we are fighting so hard to save public services in this province, while trying to secure good paying, living wage jobs for all workers. Many of our friends and family may not realize that the government is bowing to the will of corporate greed, and handing billions to profitable companies while slashing vital services (and at the same time encouraging working people to “tighten their belts” more).
Just one conversation may change one person’s mind. And that is how knowledge and ideas spread. To quote American philosopher William James, “A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody knows.”
We will have plenty to keep us busy in the coming year, and many hurdles to overcome. We will do that together, with a renewed sense of determination and purpose. Until then, my wish for all of you is to have a safe, enjoyable and relaxing holiday season. You deserve it.
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
First Vice-President/Treasurer, OPSEU