(SNN) - Every day the news pages, whether electronic or ink, reflect a world in turmoil. There is civil war (perhaps the best example of oxymoron ever invented) in Syria. There is political upheaval and bloodshed in Egypt. Iraq seems to have bombs going off killing innocents almost daily. North Korea is dying of starvation while their leadership spends the food budget on the military. Across the planet, there are reports of violence and oppression; of carnage and death.
Then there is Canada. Let me share some of the news stories on the “Canada” feed of Google News for August 18th.
There’s a National Post report on Opposition Leader Mulcair wanting to pin the costs of Pamela Wallin’s Senate audit on the Conservative Party. Ho hum. In today’s world, this has all the political lasting power of a poor choice for a neck-tie. Then, compliments of the Vancouver Sun, there’s a blockbuster story regarding a funding crisis for Legal Aid; not exactly ground-breaking material. Legal Aid struggles in practically every district that claims to offer it.
This was followed by a piece about a historical re-enactment about to take place in Montreal. There’s a story about a parachutist hurt badly in a jump and, holy cow, here’s big news; a landfill fire in Chilliwack, B.C. Let’s not forget, of course, the riveting article concerning a 15 year-old who swam 52 kilometres across Lake Ontario. Only in Canada can you make national news by going for a swim, albeit a very long swim.
As a news junkie, when comparing the dire situations facing other countries to the almost small-town concerns of our national news stories, I am always both humbled, saddened and even, perhaps guilt-ridden, knowing other humans are facing such horrific travails compared to our own. I think about the fact I don’t need to worry about the country next door routinely lobbing bombs at my house or my family. I don’t need to fear for a friend because he’s gay or is an educated female or happens to be someone who speaks publically against the government.
Of course we have problems; some serious ones. We need to exert our ownership of the north. We need to find solutions to ongoing First Nations governance issues. We need to bolster our defense capability yet keep within reasonable budgets. We need to strike the balance between resource development and environmental stewardship.
The problems we don’t have, however, is a much longer list. We’re fools if we don’t recognize how lucky we are to be here, every time we read the news
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