Last week I had a Twitter exchange with someone who "would like people to stop saying if better (transportation) options exist I can use alternative transportation as though I don’t like my car". They ended the exchange with "to each their own".
I couldn't help but reflect on that statement - to each their own. The phrase seemed problematic to me, and as I reflected on it more, this is what I came up with:
I think the phrase is saying that we can all make whatever decision we think is best. Which I don't necessarily have an issue with until I dig a little deeper. To me, it seems to imply that all things are equal and we simply weigh the 'facts' and make a decision that works best for ourselves. Unfortunately, I don't believe everything is equal. Policies, practices, and culture all impact how people make decisions.
I don't necessarily want to get into a deep philosophical discussion here, but I will say that through the #365ofgoodWR project I have seen many people who have identified some of those imbalances and injustices, and are doing their best to rectify or improve them. I think of the folks addressing issues of poverty like the Working Centre and the Social Development Centre; organizations building community like the Kitchener Public Library and Community Centres; individuals and groups using their artistic skills to create beauty and also to challenge our thinking like CAFKA and Green Light Arts; and organizations creating welcoming spaces for newcomers like Reception House and the Multicultural Centre. In fact, I would think each individual and organization I have highlighted over the past 11 months has, in some way, rejected the idea of 'to each their own' and instead embraced a "we're all in this together" approach. And our community has benefited greatly from their work.