Celebrate Canada

Sitting down to watch the news these days can be a fairly trying venture.

Our planet continues to go through its natural disasters, fears and trials and tribulations with crushing food shortages, skyrocketing fuel costs and crazy destructive weather.

Politicians continue to wow us with their thoughtless and unbelievable nerve and bad behaviour. Corruption hardly gets much notice these days, as the public seems resigned to the fact that’s ‘just the way it is’ in political circles.

People do act crazy from time to time, fairly close to home (the Vancouver riots following the Canucks’ loss to Boston is a vivid example).

Indeed, bad news abounds.

But let’s get some perspective as we ponder our corner of the world and gear up for Canada Day celebrations this week at Bower Ponds.

In spite of the nagging negativity we hear and witness on the nightly news, we still have much to be grateful for.

Calling Canada home is indeed a blessing. The vast majority of us in this country have never known real hunger or been forced to live on the streets. We have freedom to do pretty much what we like, and while our government structure may not be perfect, we enjoy the range of benefits that living in a democracy provides.

Imagine living in a country where oppression is the norm. We’ve seen nation after nation struggling fiercely to maintain some semblance of democracy.

And though not without its flaws, our health care system is exceptional compared to what many in this world have to put up with.

We can go to the local hospital knowing quality care is available and we don’t have to fear being bankrupted through the process like many in the U.S. do.

Unlike millions in Africa, we aren’t facing literal starvation or trying to fight off illnesses forgotten in the western world.

We drink from our local water supply without fear of parasites or contracting all kinds of diseases.

Canada, even with its imperfections, offers us one of the finest standards of living on earth. That’s why it’s important to take time out July 1 and consider how fortunate we really are.

Celebrations will be running all day at Bower Ponds with a steady flow of musical entertainment and lots of terrific food to sample. Best of all, it’s a chance to be with thousands of other people in the mood to celebrate as they try and forget their troubles for a day.

Ultimately, we Canadians are also blessed because we have so much to give back – and that’s what we need to stay focused on in a turbulent, unpredictable world.

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