I don’t really understand what it means to live without, to generally be concerned about my safety, or need to protest in the streets to get basic human rights for me or my fellow countrymen. I don’t know what it means to not have EI to turn to, worry about getting sick because I cannot afford the bill, or face the workings of a corrupt police force. I do not like Stephen Harper much – he’s is a bit of a stuffed shirt – but I don’t have to worry about him eliminating the Québécois in massive act of government-sponsored genocide. And I will not be taken from my home for voicing a negative opinion about him. I don’t have to bribe a government official to receive a licence. And I can log into Facebook any time I want (which I do not want).
My generation – and the ones that are coming after me – for the most part don’t get it. Those who came before us fought – both literally and figuratively – so we didn’t have to understand it. So suffering and misery were replaced by hope and opportunity.
I know some of you would point out the challenges we face here: many Canadians living under the poverty line, social issues prevalent in our Native populations, the erosion of our Peace Keeping reputation on the world stage, the underfunding problem in healthcare, cheap imports devastating our manufacturing base, and conservation of our generous nature resources. There will always be problems for us to solve.
But we have the basics of the basics down. And today – despite it’s predictability – I am thankful.
July 1st, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Celebrating my Canadian Citizenship.