I do believe the world has gone mad.
It is kind of hard to get excited about Canada’s upcoming 150th birthday, when the world seems to be in a state of perpetual sorrow.
With the regular occurrence of alleged terrorist attacks in London, Manchester and Paris, we continue to reel from the never-ending onslaught of devastating news coming out of Europe.
As we recover from one horrific loss, we are given only a brief reprieve before the mourning begins again. It seems the world is in a constant state of grief.
Grief has become the norm. Grief is the mantle we are forever shrouded in. Grief is the new black.
And it doesn’t help when we have world leaders sparring with a certain president tweeting jingoistic jargon without a filter button. There is no time for political posturing when the world is hurting.
Being inundated with 24/7 news, it is almost impossible to avoid putting a face or a name to the victims of terror. We are awashed in the tears of the thousands who place flowers on a makeshift shrine in an attempt to lessen their existential pain.
We watch and observe their sadness from afar, feeling helpless.
Are we becoming resilient as the world implodes around us or are we becoming immune to the chaos which surrounds us?
As Canadians, I hope the latter is not the case.
With our historical roots in France and England, it feels like we have lost a family member or close friend.
As Canadians, we must never succumb to complacency or indifference. Partisan politics aside, we must set an example to the world and not capitulate to political rhetoric and misguided ideologies.
As Canadians, we must shed a light on diversity and tolerance and show the world that inclusiveness works. We must show compassion and empathy. We must offer love and support whenever and wherever possible.
At the same time, we cannot let the events of the world dictate how we continue to live our lives. We have every reason to celebrate Canada’s birthday and revel in everything we have come to enjoy as Canadians.
I already mentioned diversity and inclusiveness.
Don’t forget maple syrup and bacon. A marriage made in heaven and truly Canadian. Mounties in red serge. The red maple leaf on our flag. Celine Dion and Leonard Cohen and all the other great Canadian musicians we have shared with the world. The invention of the light bulb. The most glorious scenery on the planet.
And tolerance, eh?
And kindness. Everyone knows how kind Canadians are and I do believe at this perilous time in our global village, kindness will go a long way.
And a prayer for peace.
I am reminded of the words attributed to a humble Italian friar in the 12th century, Saint Francis of Assisi and would like to share it with my readers as I think we could all benefit from his thoughtful lexis.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Happy Birthday Canada!