BY Jason Mota
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and as Canadians, we have an incredibly long list of things we should be thankful for.
Some of these we’ve gradually come to take for granted, like health care, voting rights, education, food and freedom of speech. These are things that people in other countries continue to fight for.
Other countries also face major, complicated crises, like Greece’s crumbling economy, Japan’s recent massive flooding and Mexico’s war on drug cartels, while in Syria and Ukraine, to name just two, there are horrendous human rights violations occurring daily.
We, as Canadian citizens, should be grateful that we are not Syrian refugees, facing terrible treatment at the hands of traffickers, risking everything for a chance at freedom and safety. These refugees, despite trekking hundreds of miles, are being turned away by countries with enough food, water, shelter, money and space to accept them, but without compassionate enough governments. Canada is one of the countries not doing its part.
On Oct. 12 we will sit at our dinner tables, hold hands with our families and give thanks, although for many it will be nothing more than empty words. Some will thank God for their food, but will forget to also thank the farmers around the world who toiled away from sunrise to sunset to bring the food to their tables. We will fail to thank the animals that, often violently, gave their lives for the meal before us.
We will later rest our heads on our fluffy pillows, in our warm homes, browsing our phones and making big deals out of the stupid, little things that occur on our social home front, thinking nothing of the overcrowded refugee camps outside of Syria, ripe with disease and lacking sufficient medical aid, food or space. We will think nothing of the First Nations reserves in our very own province where people fight to maintain a clean source of drinking water.
We will not think of the struggles and strife of our fellow humans.
Does this make us bad people?
This just makes us the same lazy people we always were, who, although we may want to deny it, spend more time making excuses to not make a difference than thinking about how we can.
There are people in this world who are grateful simply for being alive. So this Thanksgiving, please do something, anything, to help someone else in need, whether in your own city, province, country or somewhere in the world. Donate to a food bank, sponsor a refugee, contribute to relief and cleanup efforts in Nepal or Japan, or hand over some loose change.
The list of ways you can help, much like my previous lists, goes on and on and on.