I don’t know what’s worse, that White Rock politicians (elected and activists) rely so heavily on fear, blame and guilt to try to control one another, or that White Rock citizens fall for it.

Nothing’s stronger in this community than the pride of the people. Unfortunately over the past few decades, there have been too many ransom notes pinned to that pride.

The result is a massive accumulated debt of public trust. The City’s independence has been used as collateral too many times.

At some point the weight of that debt will overwhelm the value of the City’s pride and independence. Many are saying that has already happened.

What people really want is trust, hope and health. They don’t really care who is to blame. They don’t want to play the shame and blame game.

I’ve heard people say that I am too defensive of City staff and developers. This usually is in response to my asking people to accept responsibility for their own choices.

They take on my advice or observations as personal criticisms. But that’s not my intention. I am usually reacting to their own anger. I am only rejecting the blame and deflecting the guilt. I don’t see how it solves anyone’s problems.

Blame and guilt distract from the problem. They turn it into a judgement of the person rather than helping everyone move together toward a solution.

What would happen if we all stayed focused on the vision of being a community of happy people that trust one another, share hope and support each other’s health? How would it change how we talk to each other and how we solved problems together?

The first step is for each of us to personally accept responsibility for the results of our own choices. The second step is to resist the temptation to issue blame. Instead, focus on the vision and ways to work together toward that vision.

The sooner we purge fear blame and guilt from our public discourse, the closer we’ll be toward our vision of a sustainable community of healthy, caring people. But this isn’t something government can do for us. It’s something each of us has to do individually.

Don’t fall for cheap politics of fear, blame or guilt. Rise above it. Be a reflection of the community you want to live in.

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