Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day! Let's Give Everyone Something to Be Grateful For

In this time when bad news is hitting us from all sides, I want to take a moment to wish my fellow Canadians a happy Canada Day. I hope that you are able to spend the day as you wish, whether it be with family and friends, or taking some time to yourself. If you're one of the many Canadians who are working today because you are needed, like my fellow nurses, I hope your day is a smooth one, with as few problems as possible.

Canada is far from perfect. We have serious issues that we need to not only acknowledge, but address in an effective and fair manner. There are Canadians who suffer needlessly as the result of current conditions, such as those who live in impoverished First Nations communities or those who are homeless in our bustling cities. There also many Canadians who are suffering the effects of events that occurred in the past, including residential school survivors and their families. These too, need to be resolved to the best of our ability.

I don't get political on this blog - it's a health-related project. But often the two cross over. Poverty, illness, illiteracy, abuse, violence - these all affect mental and physical health. For a country to be truly strong, these issues must be dealt with equally for all citizens, regardless of who they are and where they may have come from.

But how do we do this? It's a huge task and it's not something one person or one organization can do alone. But one person and one organization can be pieces of the bigger puzzle. I try to work on literacy. I strongly believe that the more effectively people can communicate and understand, the better the chances that they can tackle the problems life throws at them.

However any of us choose to try to help others, we have to remember that we are in this together. We can't allow petty things and small differences divide us. We need to remain a community and reach out to those who need us. This is what makes us strong.

So Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends, colleagues, and readers. Let's spend the next 365 days finding ways to help each other, so when our 150th birthday rolls around next year, we have something even more special to celebrate.