Yesterday I wrote a post about my daughter listening to news reports about the plane shot down over Ukraine. This morning I woke up thinking about how lucky I am that my biggest concern about the conflicts happening in the world is how my children will react to the news about those conflicts.
I live in a country that is free from major conflict and is one of the most ethnically / religiously diverse in the world. I live in a city of approximately a million people where it makes the news when people get shot in the leg or someone heard shots fired in a part of the city. Our murder rate is low – nine homicides in 2013, up two from seven in 2012.
I don’t have any serious worries about getting shot or mugged. I don’t need to navigate my way to work to avoid getting caught in the crossfire of a battle. I don’t have to worry about my government shelling my community or dropping poison gas into the neighbourhood. Nobody stops me on the street to ask for my papers or for me to recite religious texts. It is highly unlikely that any of my daughters will ever be abducted, let alone all of the girls in their school.
There are no rocket launchers on the roof of our school or hospitals or my office building. No fighter jets or bombers flying overhead attempting to kill me or my family. The last jet that flew overhead was on Friday to mark the first home game of our new football team.
Quality education is accessible to all and I can get health care when I need it without going bankrupt in the process. I have a roof over my head and can access healthy food. Nobody tells me what kinds of clothes I or my family members need to wear to avoid being thrown in jail. I can speak my mind and criticize anyone in government or government policies without being picked up on the street by secret police. I don’t live in abject poverty and those who are impoverished in Canada are usually able to access supports.
The most likely outcome for me, my wife and my kids is that we will all live into our 70’s and beyond. Given the longevity of my grandparents reaching our 80’s ad 90’s is pretty realistic.
My country and city are not perfect. We have many things that can be improved. We can do a better job with education and health and social services and we absolutely must do a better job listening to, respecting and supporting the aboriginal peoples of Canada.
All things considered, we have it pretty good. So many people in the world struggle and suffer and risk untimely death just by trying to live their lives.
Yesterday I said I am lucky because I get to come home to hope for the future as represented by my daughters. I am also lucky because when I look at them I see only hope. There is no despair or fear for their future.
Sometimes the world and all that is happening in it makes me tired. I appreciate that I have the luxury of peace to worry about the small stuff.