Catching up with an old friend this week, through the miracle of the internet, I was saddened to hear a nightmarish tale from a young lady (well, not so young anymore...) whom I had much admired for her good cheer, and ability to make anyone laugh despite their mood. Never shirking her own duties, she nevertheless always found time to make sure the stress we encountered would be lessened by her endless funny remarks. Looking back I can see that her philosophy was obviously to celebrate life as a great gift bestowed upon us, and to not become ungrateful for that blessing. She never said as much, but her actions regularly spoke for her.
From that cheerful heart came a letter filled with despair. I hope I'm not betraying a confidence by quoting a last line:
"I miss Vancouver so much. A place I wish I never had left."
She's not doing so well back home in Asia. Lots of danger in living where she's living; she returned home to find a much worse situation than before she left to live here in BC for a few years.
We in Canada live in such a secluded fantasyland, we often forget how lucky we are, and how grateful we should be for the comparable paradise in which we find ourselves.
Today in Vancouver, British Columbia, the weather is beautiful; sunshine, warmth, calm winds and clear skies. Somewhere someone is worrying whether or not they will be killed today, simply for wanting to turn their home into a little bit more like our Canada.
It's hard to imagine their fears, when the sun is shining in your eyes, and your biggest problem revolves around paying off a credit card debt.
It sometimes takes only the quietest of whispers to make the biggest noise, to bestir our consciences and re-awaken our Canadian tradition of valuing freedom; yet who has time to hear these soft notes when we fill our lives with useless noise and carefree tunes that drown out the world crying around us.
Sometimes the smallest of lights can shine in our eyes and penetrate the blinders we impose upon ourselves, as we vainly summon the nerve to feel sorry for ourselves in a world much more sorrowful than we, besotted with our liberties, our minds dulled by ingratitude, could ever imagine existing outside our borders.
This morning I thank God for having been born in Canada, seeing my blessing with a clarity of perception made all the clearer by having had a small, tiny light flash before my eyes, courtesy of a young lady forced to live a life in fear.