Saturday, June 2, 2007

Give Your Head a Shake

Justin Trudeau, the recent winner of the Liberal Party nomination in the Quebec riding of Papineau, has become a profound interest of mine lately. According to what I have read on the various .coms, he was thrust into the spotlight after he delivered the eulogy at his father's funeral. A stirring, emotional address, accentuated by dignity and hope.

I also saw a speech delivered by Mr. Trudeau that spoke to the looming environmental crisis, and also to Canada's national and international identity. He spoke to the fact that when a person looks at a crisis and says to themselves, Oh, this is a major problem, but it's too big for me to deal with, they refuse to find within themselves the courage to challenge themselves to try harder and make the difference. He believes in order for Canadian citizens to remain on the high pedestal of democracy, diplomacy, and freedom, we have to make the principles first work for ourselves as individuals, then as a country.

I believe the same thing.

If you want to save the world, you can't just leave it in the hands of someone else. Chances are if you do, there are thousands of other people like you who also sit in front of the five o'clock news and say to themselves, Hmmm... gee, that sounds terrible. Well, I'm sure the government or somebody will come up with a plan of attack for this crisis. It's out of my hands. After all, I'm only one person. What can I do?

You'll have to forgive the excessive amount of cliche in that last paragraph, but it's the truth. If everyone leaves it to someone else, nothing will ever happen.

What will it take to make this crisis important in the minds of Canadians? The lowlands of India flooding? Manhattan sinking underneath a torrent of salt water? Another Ice Age?

Look at history. Britain and Canada didn't declare war on Germany until they invaded Belgium, allowing Hitler to acquire country after country. Then the war didn't stop until the United States dropped a couple of nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Bush didn't act until 9/11. The Cold War didn't end until a few years after I was born.

At what cost? 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust. The atomic bombs of the United States killed more than 150 000 people. Around 25,000 American civilians dies in the World Trade Centre. More die in the middle east every day.

Do we want the one billion people of India to become homeless? Do we want to watch our towns and cities be swallowed by the sea? Do we want to endure another Ice Age?

Do you want to throw that receipt in the garbage? Wouldn't you rather toss it into the recycling bin in the other room?

Oh wait, I forgot. I'm just one person. What can I do?

World Peace

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Farm Chores and Griping

The other day when my parents made me do some more of the never ending chores that burden our lives, I got to thinking about one of the reasons that parents used to have children, particularly boys.

Families who live on farms in particular have a specific use for guys. Generally because of the manual labour that is required to run a farm, or even to run a household can be done more efficiently by men, simply because we are, in general, taller and stronger. So, we end up pitching the hay, stacking the bales, bringing in the firewood, carrying in the water, bringing up the groceries, helping to move furniture, and working to open cans for our parents and families.

Myself, not being particularly motivated at anytime to perform these simple, quick tasks, tend to do so with varying degrees of protestation. Now, you could say that this blog is simply another gripe session, which I will admit that it is, but it is also a reflection on what has become accepted and why it has been so accepted.

So guys: the next time you have to mow the lawn or take out the garbage, instead of moaning and groaning like some rusted contraption that hasn't been oiled for centuries, think of the ancient and proud tradition of manual labour that we continue to uphold. The way that things might be if those poor womenfolk did not have our long-limbed brawn to serve them.

Or you could continue your own tradition of complaining. I know I will still complain at least a little.

After all, why should I give up something that I'm so good at?

World Peace