This is NOT my land!

I grew up with stories and histories where nation upon nation claimed, sometimes begged, “This IS MY LAND!”  When you think of it, this is at the crux of most disputes/wars that have plagued every nation under GOD for eons.  When it was about money or religion…it was really about the metaphor for everything on this planet…THE LAND. Recently, a new challenge strikes at the heart of this land as we know it in Canada; the negotiations, challenges, strong opinions around the Keystone Pipeline.   And turn your eyes toward the absolute destruction of LAND in Syria!  What is this about…that one nation/culture continue to reek havoc on another, everywhere?  This photo: REUTERS/George Orfalian featured in the National Post.

REUTERS/George Orfalian

As I contemplate my ten year plan (I’ve always informally had one of these floating in the back of my mind and I seem to be facing fewer and fewer of these.), thoughts of my wee piece of property and what this might mean for my children, come to mind.  We’re funny people, aren’t we?  Investing so much of our lives and work in owning a piece of land? a house? When really, isn’t it an illusion of power/control?  Were any of us really intended to own the land?  Or were we meant to share it?

I’m rambling this morning.  I’ve got my coffee on, after waking at five a.m.  and ringing again and again in my mind are the words I heard yesterday.  “This ISN’T our land!”

I heard from Patricia of the Home Depot Escalation Department in Atlanta, Georgia yesterday.  My phone call was taped for quality assurance, so I will relay this conversation as a paraphrase, the gist of the conversation that we shared.  The phone call was in reference to this piece of land.

Patricia agrees with me, wholeheartedly, that this is an eye sore.  Apparently, since lodging my complaint with her CEO, Frank Blake, Patricia has been assigned this particular ESCALATION.  The tone of her phone call, however, was about her research into WHO OWNS THE LAND…not about the potential for stewardship.  She told me how there was no way that the store associates could be used for clearing up the litter that had accumulated on this land edging within one foot and covering one of the two staff picnic tables on their property.  She informed me that this piece of land is not owned by the City of Calgary, but has been purchased by another party.  However, she said that she has no idea WHO OWNS THE LAND now.  She informed me that, in fact, someone had gone onto the property, mowed over the garbage that my readers see in this photograph and left the broken plastics strewn.  She told me that the Home Depot associates would not be able to be involved in cleaning up this waste (although I had informed her that 80 % of the litter was labeled with the Home Depot logo) because that would mean trespassing onto someone else’s land.  All I had hoped, in my imagination, was that Home Depot would see this as an opportunity for community service and stewardship.  Chandos Construction Ltd.  had answered this call to stewardship and for me, this demonstrates the difference between a company with ethics and one who espouses to that, but does not follow up at the community level.

I asked Patricia if I might have made more progress contacting the Home Depot Canada’s offices.  She assured me that the answers would all be the same.  I ended by telling her, “I am not surprised at this very bureaucratic response to my concerns.”  When I told her that perhaps I needed to contact the media about the Home Depot ‘way’, she said, paraphrased, “If that’s what you need to do, go ahead.”  I took her response and sat with it.  Now….this.

I’ve contacted my City of Calgary, By-Law Representative, Rick Haddow.  Last night he was going to drive by the tract of land that I am making reference to.  He told me that his office had not heard from Home Depot, but that is not to say that some other department hadn’t.  He asked me to leave this matter with him and he would get back to me.

In conclusion…for today.  Here we have a GIANT among corporations, Home Depot, clearly drawing boundaries and thinking about whether this piece of land is under their jurisdiction rather than thinking, “What can we do?  How can we help?  What initiative can we take?”  Instead, the culture of Home Depot and this particular store is to provide their ‘associates’ with a picnic space that is right on the line of this devastation.  The line is drawn.  “This is NOT OUR LAND!”

When did this happen?  That we can not take care of the land, because we don’t own it?

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