A Distorted View

FTLComm - Tisdale - February 13, 2001
In order to understand a situation and make appropriate decisions that fit the way things really are we so badly need perspective. The picture above is taken with a twelve power zoom lens on a video camera and the effect from such a lens is to destroy some perspective allowing the whole scene to be viewed from a great distance yet giving the illusion of being closer.

That is a dangerous view. The Saskatchewan Wheat Pool decided to take steps to move it from its humble roots to a complex multinational corporation. Clearly their management and board of directors accepted a view of things that must have been distorted because now years after the decision we see the corporation on the verge of bankruptcy. Most analysts do not foresee the company being able to function much longer as it will have to dissolve and the remnants of what was the largest farmer owned producer cooperative will fall into the corporate empires of American grain companies.

Today it was announced that a major stock market rating company had further downgraded the Pool's status and agricultural news sources all indicated that this signalled the end of the struggle in its present form, the decisions made a couple of years ago set the mold and destruction is just taking longer than most bad perspective decisions.

On the CBC noon hour phone-in show, the discussion today was on Western Separatism, not alienation, no separatism. Few if any callers came on the air to defend or support continued participation in confederation. The family compact form of government that brought Upper and Lower Canada to confederation initially is once again threatening the present form of government in British North America.

I can recall so clearly the puzzlling situation when working in a company town in the late sixties, almost everyone was from Southern Alberta, there was one English family and a few of us from Saskatchewan and someone had made an obscure reference to "accent" in a ditty of some kind. We all each thought the comment was made about those people who had "accents" and only after a lot of very careful discussion did we realise that the comment was so ambiguous that it could clearly be referring to all or any of us.

A distorted view of reality is not unusual, it is the norm. We only see things from our point of view, from our corner of reality and be we important corporate executives or budding political leaders, each of us can only function on the level of awarenss that is afforded us. When we consider the problems of our country we are looking at the power source in Central Canada and assume we are seeing what is going on as we peer at it through our zoom lens and its built in distortion field. From this point in time the foolish decisions of the Wheat Pool are glaringly obvious just as Air Canada's take over of Canadian must have seemed to them as appropriate, until now when we see them laying off staff and raising prices because the elimination of competition did not strengthen or improve the company and it continues to slide just as it was prior to its take over of its Western rival.

The telephoto lens captured the light as it illuminated the synthetic fabric flags in the image below, but that was a few seconds this illusion occurred and may never be duplicated. Were we to think that this is the way things exist in reality we would be mistaken. The lesson for us all to learn and understand deeply is that "we are almost always working with a distorted view." It is all we have to work with and every decision must be made anyway, dispite our confusion and lack of perspective.