Canada: Opportunity's Home
As another year comes to a close there are a million thoughts racing through my mind. Living in close proximity to the United States it would be extremely easy to get caught up in their narrative of divisiveness and greatness. They are our wealthy relatives. You know the ones who show up during the holidays in their new car and lavish expensive gifts on everyone. They try to mesmerize everyone with their stories of greatness and what a wonderful life they live. But as we set our table it's not the size or splendour of the setting that brings us joy, it's the closeness of the people who sit around it.
A Canadian Story
I have always felt extremely lucky to have been born in Canada. In September 1959 I was born to a young girl who was not equipped to be a mother. At that moment in my life there was great uncertainty about my future. What would become of me? There were all sorts of things stacked against me, however, there was a beacon of hope. I was born in Canada.
In 1959, Canada already had excellent adoption programs to ensure the health and welfare of it's most vulnerable citizens. Through such a program I found my parents and the beginning of a lifelong love story. I often thought my family life very much like the Canadian way of life. We were not the richest, nor did we need to flaunt what we had. Instead, we invited everyone in to share. At times that might have meant thinning out the stew so it stretched a little further but everyone's belly was full.
While no country is perfect there are some values that should be non negotiable. In Canada it means supporting our youth by giving them an opportunity to live a life as good as, or better than the generations that came before them. That means fair wages, a clean environment, equal opportunity and accessible health care. It also speaks to the way we live those values, through a sense of tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness. It is with this mindset that we create opportunity for those born in this country and those individuals seeking a country to call home.
With Arms Wide Open
So how do we embrace the new year? Hopefully with arms wide open to the vast opportunities that each of us have at our disposal. So let's think of 2018 as the year of opportunity in Canada. Each of us has been given the opportunity to create amazing change in our world. When we look around the corner and see our future how can we create new opportunities? Let's use our unique gifts to expand our reach to the most vulnerable. Our most vulnerable don't always have a strong voice. It would be easy to turn away and focus our attention on the strength of the majority but that's not the Canadian way. When we face the challenges of an aging population, new immigrants, safe communities and global unrest we need to discover new opportunities to support each other. It's not easy to do, but definitely not insurmountable. This is my greatest hope for 2018, not to make anything "Great" but to create a culture of opportunity for everyone.