As we enter this Canada Day weekend, I think it’s important that we all reflect on how privileged we are to live in this country. It’s not a perfect country – we have our issues, and like most large families, we also have a bit of shame to take ownership of. But as we look around the world, we do have a lot to celebrate.
For many of us, this weekend is going to feel pretty sweet. Like kids grounded for bad behaviour, we have been isolated from each other for a long time. For the first time in sixteen months, we can visit with friends and family. Up until March 2020, that was a privilege we had always taken for granted.
This Canada Day is a chance to catch up with neighbours and take our loved ones out for dinner, or maybe attend a movie or just invite over a bunch of folks for a backyard barbecue. We never really fully understand just how privileged we are until we’ve experienced a significant amount of time without those privileges.
For those of us that are spiritual, it will be a long time before we take for granted the ability to visit a house of worship. For those of us who are sports fans, we will never forget the season where all teams had a no-loss record, yet nobody won. This summer, we can visit museums, travel to other towns and maybe take in a festival or two.
So many things we have always assumed were basic rights have now been recognized for what they truly are – privileges. These privileges have allowed us to prosper and grow as a nation. We have the ability to do what many other nations would never allow or provide. Health-care for all, education for all, freedom of religion, freedom to speak, even against our own government. We assume these to be basic human rights because we enjoy them as such, but if we look around the world, we are among the privileged.
So as we remove our masks this weekend to show our smiles, shake hands or maybe even hug each other, we should embrace this Canada Day openly and enthusiastically. I, myself, will spend some time at the Airdrie legion on Canada Day, as to show some appreciation toward veterans that are responsible for many of the privileges that we enjoy. There will be live music, food, drink and a whole lot of good will. If you’re looking for something to do that day, then I hope to see you there. Bring the whole family.
From ours to yours, have an awesome Canada Day!