I am a former resident born and raised in Ponoka, and enjoy reading news from home on the Internet.
In a recent Letter to the Editor (What is wrong with this picture of Canada?) John Thorgrimson, describes at length his view and often contradictory proposed resolutions to all the ills of Canadian society; culminating with a call to return to the educational style of the 1940s and the societal norms of the 1700s.
May I respectfully recommend that the author proceed immediately to his optometrist and demand a full refund for his glasses that currently only offer him a sad, grey, distorted view of the world.
I will concede many of the points made in regards to the problems that we as a nation face, and hesitantly choose to give the author the benefit of the doubt that many of his comments are dripped in satire. However, I resist returning to a 1700s society where tyranny prevailed and quests for democracy and liberty were met with the guillotine. I also question how we will develop as a society capable of resolving our problems if we return to an educational system that saw half of the population peak at an eighth grade education (source: US Census 1940) while learning from the “comfort” found beneath their desks in segregated classrooms as the alarm from another nuclear fallout drill wails in the building. It is also somewhat ironic that the people educated under this supposedly “superior” system, complete with the proposed “religious” context, have achieved past and present leadership roles and still been unable to prevent all the issues of the world described in the letter.
Personally, I am proud to live in a country where we have the luxury of questioning our capability to send our surplus food in a rapid response to devastated nations such as Haiti while simultaneously attempting to help our own citizens. We as a country cannot reasonably hope to single-handedly solve the problems of the world, but we increasingly do what we can.
I choose to be encouraged by the more than 22 million Canadians (80 per cent of us) who contributed a total $8.5 billion in charitable donations in 2006 (source: Statistics Canada) to both national and international aid organizations. This is in addition to the value of the billions of hours volunteered by ordinary people in their communities. We do indeed have problems, but count your blessings, sir.
Let me assure you that despite the growing trend, there are indeed people of my “Generation Y” steadfastly determined to participate in the processes that strive to leave for our children a better world than the one we were given — learning from our mistakes and with gratitude to the sacrifices made by the generations before us. As we begin to carry the leadership torch, the contribution of constructive criticisms, objective advice, and positive encouragement will not only be welcomed, they will be essential.