Here it is Canada Day and I really haven’t done much reflecting. I’ve been alternating between productivity and procrastination all day. Now, being mostly done, and having poured a beer, I guess I should get down to it.
Like everyone, I can complain about where I live and complain about various facets of that life. However, not everyone has students and people who can put things in perspective. My students may complain about the food, the prices, and the fact that our prices do not include tax. I cannot fault them for those things.
When I complain about the TTC (bus and subway) and its frequent delays and stoppages, or when I complain about how some of the stations seem deliberately organized to discourage passenger flow, many remind me that they don’t have subway systems, or that theirs are plagued by thieves (not just the owners) as well as breakdowns and delays. This might not be true of Japan or Korea, but many of my other students have voiced support for the TTC.
When I complain about the government, mostly these days about the Premier of Ontario who is doing his best Donald Trump imitation, they remind me that he faces boos everywhere he goes and that people are hearing him speak and they are reacting in a manner that shows he isn’t fooling anyone. He may have adopted Trump like tactics, but he doesn’t have the teflon skin and the ability to contradict himself without consequences like the US President. They also remind me that politicians in their countries make ours look pretty good.
When my students visit the capital, they remark on how free and open things are. They tell me that they can’t believe there aren’t fences and gates blocking everything in. When I wonder aloud if that doesn’t sound like prison, they shamefully nod their heads.
When I speak out against some perceived wrongs, some wonder why I am not taken away for questioning. This is one of the many freedoms I enjoy that I wouldn’t even understand how to live without.
I am reminded time and time again how safe and secure I am, despite the media telling me that my city is going to hell with greater violence and crime. My colleagues might even have open spoken about moving north, away from the city. My students just laugh and remind me that they can’t wear the wireless headphones they bought in Canada outside their homes for fear of them being stolen.
If not for my students, I may not appreciate my life. Thank you.
Oh, and of course, Happy Canada Day.