My favourite time of
year recently occurred - the 10 days of the Calgary Stampede. A time when all things western are showcased,
and relics of our early cultural history are revived.
As our province has
a very long history of ranching, it should come as no surprise that at one
time, almost every community had their own blacksmith and livery stable. The blacksmith was one of the most important
individuals in a community, probably even more important than any law, in all
honesty. As horses were a mode of
transportation, a form of farm machinery, and so much more, whomever helped you
keep yours shod and in good condition was pretty vital to your livelihood. But, blacksmiths were necessary for more than
just their ability to make horseshoes, as they kept wagons in good repair and
made a number of household items.
And yet, despite
their high esteem, our communities no longer have a local blacksmith. Why?
Because they were
replaced by a viable alternative.
Now, we could argue
whether that alternative was better, or more advantageous, but there is no
denying that what we know today as gas-powered vehicles and farm machinery, and
their associated businesses, have changed the way we travel, work, farm/ranch,
And now the oil and
gas sector is in jeopardy of going the way of the blacksmiths and livery
stables. Or is it?
Shutting down the
Canadian oil and gas sector will not eliminate the use of oil and gas in this
country, nor in the rest of the world, it will just raise the price of
everything because oil and gas is so pervasive in our culture - it’s not just
the gas we use to drive around - EVERYTHING around us either uses oil and gas,
is made from a by-product of oil and gas, or is brought to us via oil and gas. And, quite truthfully, while there are
greener alternatives, at this time, there is no VIABLE alternative to oil and
gas that is affordable, and available to everyone.
Eliminating a whole
sector isn’t the answer to living greener, the answer is to reduce your
individual usage till a viable alternative appears.
personal “style?” Do you know, or are you still searching for it?
While this seems to
be a concern in a number of different areas of our lives, it tends to be most
prevalent in the creative/artistic field where writers, singers, musicians,
artists, and other creative people are encourage, after they have mastered the
basic techniques, to go “find their own style.”
I once heard a
speaker talking about developing your personal style, and after he explained
how style shows up in different parts of your life, he then pointed out that it
is impossible NOT to express your own style because no matter what you do, you
are ALWAYS doing it in your own unique way, from your own unique perspective.
Even if you are
imitating the way someone else dresses or talks, or writes or paints, you aren’t
an exact copy of that person because, you aren’t that person. You are you, and that comes out in all that
you do, whether you are consciously aware of that or not.
Now, that doesn’t
mean you can’t learn from other people and incorporate their tips and tricks
into your own repertoire, it just means that you can’t get hung up on doing
things exactly the way someone else did, or get hung up on trying to discover
your way of doing things, because you will end up doing it in the best manner
for you, no matter what you do.
For years, I
struggled to find my writing “voice” - one that fit into the “list” that I was
once given in a writing class. Yet, no
matter how hard I tried, and how much I practiced my writing, I could not get
my writing style to fit into a pre-established neat little box. Then I was given one of the all-time best
compliments I ever received about my writing, when I was told that when the
person read what I wrote, they could “hear” my voice speaking the words because
they were written the way I express myself verbally, giving my writing the feel
of a conversation.
Instead of spending
time and energy trying to figure out your “style,” all you need to do is do
what you do, the way that you do it, and people will easily see and experience