Going to get up on my soapbox for what I hope is just a little while here. May catch some flak for this one, but then, this is also why I write...to think.
Seems we've heard nothing but bad news for the last number of years - sometimes seems like forever, but that is a conspiracy theory for another time. Aside from the U.S. putting in a president everyone can be proud of, it's mostly been war, famine, more war, bombings, and now this with, "These Economic Times". And while I have tried my best to keep my head up and feel good about what I do on a daily basis, it is getting harder.
Maybe this is the darkest hour before the dawn?
But that seems so silly to me. I mean really. We live in Canada. Most of us have families. And we have a government that at least attempts to be for the people. It may not be the one you enjoy, and it may not feel like it is for you right now, but it is. And if you want to complain about your lot in life, go ahead, but I'm not going to feel too badly for you...chances are, if you're reading this, you're Canadian, possibly Australian, and we've all got it pretty fricken sweet! It's never been all that dark for us.
Yes, "These Economic Times" are tough, and a little scary. Uncertainty always is. But when and why we were ever so certain? We've all heard, there are only two certainties, and jobs and prosperity aren't on the list.
And how did we get here? Have we grown up in such a wonderful country we think it is our birthright to be prosperous and successful? And if something attempts to get in the way of that, we lose our heads (or at least attempt to bury them)? We've become as materialistic as our neighbours to the south - who often times we like to laugh at for some of their consuming ways....drive through liquour stores?? Oh wait, we drive through for our coffees!?! - and when you compare what we do for our relative size, we aren't nearly the champions we like to think we are. But this is not to jump all over Canada or Canadians. In fact it is the opposite.
We live in the greatest country in the world. Bar none. And it is for this reason, we need to chill. Relax. Take a deep breathe, and truly evaluate where we stand. We are not the United States. We are not China. We're not Europe. We are Canada. Thirty three million people spread over the second largest country in the world - you should see the Korean kids eyes bug out of their heads when I point to Canada and then tell them we have less people than they do - "Teacher! No! You lie!" I do not lie (about this).
But we must cherish this gift of space. Nurture it. While death and taxes may be the only two certainties we used to think about, there is no denying another certainty, this is our planet, and as Canadians we got a pretty sizeable chunk of it to protect, love, and be proud of.
We also live in a country - ok, I don't live there now, but I am coming, boy, am I coming - where we have the freedom to do as we please - a gift that can never be understated. We live in a time and a world when truly anything is possible - the fact that you're reading this on your computer sometime after I wrote it on my computer, after I clicked a little button that said 'publish' in the corner of my screen with my touch pad mouse, speaks volumes to me.
And it is for these reasons, as Canadians (okay, you too Aussies), it is time for us to step up. Not our government, not our corporations...us! Put our money literally where our mouths are. Invest our time and energy (much more valuable than our money anyways) in our youth, in our neighbourhoods, and most importantly, in ourselves.
I know "These Economic Times" have got everyone a little scrambled. And if you've been affected because of down-sizing or closing, then I am truly sorry, and will do what I can (which sadly isn't much) to help. But I bet someone can.
And I don't want to preach about how we're lucky to be in Canada in these times, and not somewhere else, but it is true. The thing is, it's true all the time, not just now. But I also know that doesn't make things any easier right now. But what might, is the belief in yourself and in us as a country. You are a person who has the opportunity to do whatever you want, in a place where we can honestly say, anything can be done.
What have we dreamt about that we have not accomplished?
This is no time to stop dreaming. In fact, it may be time to do just that. Or even better, to remember what it was we were dreaming about not so long ago, and make it happen.
We can choose. Nothing can take that away from us. Not even "These Economic Times".