Celebrating Canada Day

Canada Day is that rare opportunity – for one day anyways – to forget about our complaints about society in general and focus on the many blessings we enjoy simply by living in this amazing country.

No, life in Canada isn’t perfect. People face hardships of all kinds, and any amount of prosperity that comes our way from calling Canada home doesn’t extinguish the many harsh realities out there.

But in the broader picture, we enjoy so many advantages and opportunities in this country that can only be dreamed about in other corners of the world.

Most of us have never known what it is to be truly hungry for any length of time. We turn on our taps and can drink the water without fear of being stricken by some deadly disease. We can worship how we choose without fear of significant oppression or governmental interference much less violence. We can walk our streets (for the most part) and feel like we are in relative safety.

We have a government that, again while certainly not perfect, provides many services that again would be unimaginable in much of the developing world. Our health care system (yes there are flaws) is pretty much always there for us when we need it as well. Some diseases that still ravage communities in other parts of the world are pretty much memories in Canada.

Ultimately, anyone who has had the opportunity to spend time in a developing country knows full well how privileged we are to call Canada home. Just watching the news will give a quick education into the frightening instability so many face as they fight for even some semblance of democracy in their homelands.

So the freedom and peaceful society that we so often take completely for granted is certainly something to be thankful for.

That’s a notion that was at the centre of last week’s Central Alberta Refugee Effort’s World Refugee Week event. It was held last Friday afternoon in Veteran’s Park on Ross St. The event hosted speakers from around the world and a number of musical performances.

The event is gathering momentum, and it’s great to see folks being touched by what they hear and hopefully taking action to support humanitarian organizations that are on the frontlines in such conditions.

Prosperity also brings responsibility to keep the less fortunate in mind as well – both in our own backyards and on a global basis.

Certainly, these are critical things to keep in mind on July 1st when we are (hopefully) soaking up the sun and counting our many blessings.

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