Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, everyone!
It’s been a gorgeous holiday weekend this Thanksgiving 2015 in Toronto, at least in terms of the weather. There are many things to be thankful for, and I really enjoy having a specific holiday to ask us to stop our busy lives for a while and reflect on this.
I am thankful for having family and friends that we can gather together for a large meal and actually enjoy each others’ company. I am thankful that we do have access to food and drink in abundance, and are not worrying about how to put the next meal on the table.
I am thankful for my general good physical and mental health, and that of my family and close friends.
I am thankful for my husband and my daughters E1 and E2, and the abundance of little joys they bring me each day. (and so I overlook the little annoyances, haha!)
I am thankful that I live in a country that has strong institutions and underlying belief in democracy. For all my disagreements with the policies and functioning of the current political party governing our country, I have no fear that they would ignore the election results and try to maintain power, leading us towards either a dictatorship or civil war. Could this be because we are actually a constitutional monarchy? Perhaps…you may discuss this amongst yourselves.
I am thankful that after my leave from work last year, I was able to find my way to land in a great place for this next phase of my working career.
I am thankful for those monthly pizza lunches at school where I can take a one-day break from having to make and pack their school lunch! And I am thankful for a good working dishwasher to wash all these snack and lunch containers in addition to our home dishes. (I shudder to think what would happen to my marriage if we had to resort to the old days of using rock-paper-scissors to determine who would hand-wash that day’s dishes)
Then there are these long-form articles that I’ve encountered in recent months that have really stayed with me…and made me very thankful that I am not facing these same impossible choices:
- Whether they are refugees or economic migrants, the basic choice is basically the same: whether leaving home to voluntarily face the dangers of human smuggling is a better choice than staying at home. “Menaced by gangs, El Salvador’s children are running for their lives“, Stephanie Nolen in The Globe and Mail, Aug 29, 2015, is one such example. The hundreds of thousands others trying to migrate to Europe is another, and there are headlines nearly daily on the situation.
- Before reading this piece, I had no real understanding of why there was a section in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for Mobility Rights, which includes the right to move anywhere within our country. This story is jaw-dropping—what educated and middle-class income earners would choose to have their families live in subterranean, makeshift, mouldy housing? I understand I have a truly privileged life, considering what these people will endure for the hope of building a better future for their children. “The ‘Ant Tribe’ of China” by Doug Saunders in The Globe and Mail, Aug 21, 2015.
- In “Syria’s Climate Conflict“, by Audrey Quinn and Jackie Roche, the cartoon succinctly explains how climate change helped spark a bloody civil war. I am thankful that I live in an area where the effects of climate change not yet caused dramatic changes to our society, but I do want our government to take action to address this now.
- And along those lines, I’m thankful I live in an area with access to fresh water. The ongoing California drought is nothing short of jaw-dropping.
And lastly – I’m thankful for the opportunity to keep speaking my mind. Cheers!