Hindsight is only helpful if you apply the lesson learned to future actions.

It was a day like any other day of my childhood summers; quick breakfast,clothes on and then running out the door to do the morning rounds of the yard.Checking to see where all the salamanders and toads had settled for the night was always the first thing on my mind,since I found both creatures so interesting.

Next up was a stop in the garden to quickly raid the raspberries or pea patch if it was the season-quickly because if mom caught us eating the goods meant to freeze for fall there would be trouble! Our garden wasn’t for looks,it was for necessity.

As I headed off to the edge of the garden to go down to the creek, I stopped  to pull the green bits out of what was then called “Indian Paintbrush”  growing in the ditch, sucking what little nectar a butterfly would find hard to release, with relish.

I loved our road.

At that time there were only a few homes besides ours,all on acreage and surrounded by lovely forests full of kinnickinnick, huckleberries, and native plants I’d weave into vines to make crowns for my hair. Free time in summer was spent looking for agates on the road, riding bikes all over and for me, playing at the creek.

It was on the far bank of the creek where I was exploring that I saw it. A flower unlike anything I had ever seen before anywhere in the forests around our house, or camping in the bush. To a young girl growing up in an area like this, it seemed alien and exotic in comparison to the daisies and Indian paintbrush so common elsewhere.

wildorchid

I sat there for a while, completely in awe. I looked around and could see no others. Where did this flower come from? How did it get here? So many questions for a young girl with no answers.

And then I picked it.

It was wilting even before I could get it home to a glass of water and completely limp shortly afterwards. I had killed it.

I recall very clearly going back and searching the forest floor all around the creek banks on both sides, then going around the forest in the back yard in my desperation to find another, but there were none. I was devastated in the knowledge of what I had willingly, without thought,done.

And for the rest of my years growing up in my childhood home, I never saw another flower like it. Even as an adult visiting home I have looked,although the creek is all but gone now and there are more homes in place of the forests of my youth- to no avail.

I know now, it was a native orchid often found in boreal forests and sub-alpine/alpine meadows in the province, called Calypso Bulbosa, or the Fairy Slipper orchid. I’ve seen them hiking in Whistler and around Manning Park but apparently I picked the only one that somehow found its way to the creek by my yard.

Even as a woman in my forties, I’ll never forget the feeling of regret of my action. I can’t go back and unpick that flower, but I can apply what I learned  in this stark lesson elsewhere. Sadly, I don’t often see that need to reflect in government.

They say hindsight is 20/20- and perhaps it is, but it only serves a purpose if you learn and act accordingly. Otherwise it’s about as useful as smoke in the wind.

For example, the housing and affordability crisis in Vancouver. While it’s still making the news, it’s anything but a new problem. Looking back there have been signs and complaints years for years but to what result? Not much until it now-again-makes the news and politicians muse solutions,spurred only act when public outrage reaches a level that can’t be ignored.

In Delta, farmland is once again under threat of expropriation in a time when drought and climate change is threatening crops elsewhere,creating higher prices in supermarket for many products. Looking back, this isn’t new either, yet I can foresee the day when politicians look back and go:”What the hell were we thinking??” Once that land is gone, it’s gone. Do we want to risk our food security at a local level?

Surrey is still, rampantly deforesting to build and there are stories popping up now of new homes on ALR land approved without due process. The pressures of phenomenal growth without keeping pace with vital social infrastructure is starting to show in ongoing issues around the city. Roads are in crumbles in many areas, yet this has been known and allowed willingly to fester for years. Playing catch-up is never a fun game when it comes to a community.

Forest fires last year were a massive concern, but has the province learned anything from past events? Have forest communities been built differently, more safely? Is scrub being removed, controlled burns being conducted,and are crews sent out early and aggressively enough? According to some people I’ve talked to, no. Communities need to be asking why.

And Site C, the project that I don’t just believe is wrong, I know it’s wrong. 12,000 years of human history gone, farmland, First Nations treaty lands and an economic nightmare that will weigh on my childrens children.

It’s as much about learning from our past, as it is, taking care of the basics. I don’t like the words, shoulda, woulda, coulda….Sometimes you have to take a break, look at what you know and where you have been, so you can figure out the best way forward, for everyone.

Because although I believe it is never too late to change course and head in the right direction, it’s equally true that sometimes you only get one opportunity to really get it right. 

And do you really want to take that chance?

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”~ Theodore Roosevelt

20 thoughts on “Hindsight is only helpful if you apply the lesson learned to future actions.

    1. John's Aghast

      I wonder if the 8.35/$8.8 Billion price tag includes the legal costs involved with this bizarre undertaking, And the resulting damages/costs for abandoning it will of course come from the ‘savings’. Who knows, we may end up spending $8.8 Billion for no dam at all. Wouldn’t that be wonderful fiscal management!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kevin

        So this investment in Site C will provide enough power for 450,000 homes.What if BC Hydro took that $8.35B and purchased the Powerwall (from Tesla) for every home in the province? Let’s say they went all in and it cost them $8350/household…well that kind of investment would significantly power 1,000,000 houses using a fair amount of solar energy as well as low demand grid times. And no loss of agricultural land. And the potential of building a lithium-ion battery factory here in the province. And the potential of selling this scheme to other provinces. Just thinking out loud. I’m sure my math is wrong.

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        1. Your math may not be wrong (well, there is more to a system than just batteries….) but what your thinking lacks is the ongoing parasitic profit motive. Why would any govt. do anything that did not benefit themselves more than anyone else? Seriously. Give the people the power to power themselves and all sorts of mischief could ensue not to mention less taxes and fees to be levied. THIS system we have adopted holus bolus NEEDS, REQUIRES and ENFORCES the people to be a ‘captured market’ in as many things as possible. Get off the grid and feel the freedom – if you dare. But, be careful – there are people in the US that are actually being prosecuted for going off the grid.

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          1. Kevin

            Ya, you’re right JDC. I realize I’m a bit naive on these subjects, I just thought I would attempt a little bit of logic without taking into account the type of people we have running this province. But Tesla’s Powerwall is a game changer. It actually puts the “power” back in the hands of the ordinary citizen where it belongs. If things like this make governments nervous then you know it is the right thing to do. If every new home in BC built in the next ten years went this way then Site C will soon look like a hole in the ground ( a rather expensive one).

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            1. I agree. And it is logical. But when has logic trumped greed?
              I have 600 amp hours of batteries now and 2100 watts of solar panels. Haven’t had to use the genset in two months. But if Musk/Tesla get an improved version of batteries, I am in. Batteries are the weak link in the off-the-grid alternative energy system. Lead acid batteries are really old technology that was, even in the beginning, the lowest efficiency versions. Li-ion sounds better. But they really have to do MUCH better for it to become universally adopted. Cross your fingers. I am.

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  1. thetrojanhorsebikejacket

    Wow did you stir up a lot of memories. I to grew up in Prince George. When my parents and my brother and I were first there the town was barely 4000 people. We lived in a very small house on Queensway Street. It was 2 rooms and a wood stove for heat. There used to be a old scrap yard where I still believe the Queensway Market is now, perhaps it’s gone now, and the Old Connaught Elementary school was across the street. I used to play in the bushes behind the house. Queensway Street was a dirt road. We were literally on the Southern end of Town. South Fort George was farther down the road and down the hill from there.

    Creeks abounded there in those days. I remember old Wacky Bennett would come there during the election. Graders and bulldozers were flattening all the bumps in the roads, huge promises were made. After the election, no promises kept, and all the road equipment disappeared as quickly as it appeared before the election.

    Yes Laila nothing ever changes, just different lies from the same old gang under a different name. Why people keep electing them is beyond me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jack Hackett

    Here, here ‘J’.
    Lovely story Laila, as usual your ability with thoughts transferred to words comes shining through. Add to shoulda, etc. etc. ‘ah but’ and as my Father used to class certain individuals ‘Sooners’ ie, I would sooner not or I would sooner do this that or the other, etc.
    Hope that your keeping well Laila and keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If you are right and we just don’t learn enough to correct our mistakes, we are likely doomed.

    And it does seem to be getting worse. 60 million refugees is a sign. And, with climate change, the rich getting richer and waste, scandal and crime in government growing all the time, it would seem that you are right – we will repeat our errors. Indeed, we have BIG plans to do just that.
    Modernity won’t change it. Advancing in technology is NOT the same as advancing in civil or personal growth or social conscience and, without growth in those areas, we ARE destined to repeat our mistakes.

    But why? Why are we so stupid?

    Could it possibly be that we invented institutions and other social constructs from the advent of money to government, from police to laws, from Capitalism to health care, education and employment that simply do not work anymore and yet we are afraid to change them? Could it be that we are simply driving a beater and wondering why it keeps breaking down? Or is it just good ol’ greed every time and we do not want to put any money into repairs and, by that neglect, make a good vehicle a beater? I have no idea. So, I got out of the car and I will walk instead. I am slower but the air is cleaner.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mike

    Laila, your charming use of words painted into pictures for your readers is heartwarming. I wish I shared your talent for writing.
    The reality is that many Cities are the poster children for many things. In Surrey B.C. much of the good will, optimism and forward thinking of the Ex Mayor Watts is being wasted by the current administration.
    In Surrey, rampant development, increasing taxes, and growing City debt are damaging for all. Factor in an environmental sustainability charter that is resulting in irreparable damage to the City Tree Canopy and you have a vision for a failed City.
    Only an opinion of course and I hope I’m wrong on all counts.
    Your observation that “Surrey is still, rampantly deforesting to build and there are stories popping up now of new homes on ALR land approved without due process. The pressures of phenomenal growth without keeping pace with vital social infrastructure is starting to show in ongoing issues around the city. Roads are in crumbles in many areas, yet this has been known and allowed willingly to fester for years.”
    Factor in a bizarre crime rate that has been mislabeled as a policing issue and it is easy to see how badly the City of Surrey as stumbled.
    Our civic leadership seem to have mastered “one step forward, and two steps backward”.

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