Happy Thanksgiving to all on this long weekend. Giving thanks. We pause to acknowledge the fraught history of this day and its associations with colonialism, conquest and oppression. I welcome it just the same. It is a three-day weekend focused on gratitude.
I have been thinking a lot lately of the wisdom of Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh. https://thekeypoint.org/
As a fan of the original A.A. Milne Pooh, the Taoist messages of Hoff’s book provide much good advice:
“Do you really want to be happy? You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you’ve got.”
Conversely, if you want to be dissatisfied, concentrate on things that make you unhappy.
Enough doom and gloom. Time to focus on counting our blessings.
I am so very grateful for all my friends and volunteers for the Green Party – right across Canada and especially the amazing team in Saanich-Gulf Islands. You all worked so hard to send me back to Parliament. Today, I will be at the celebration of life for one such amazing friend and volunteer – Joanne Taylor. I must remember to do a better job thanking the people I love while they are still here.
I am grateful for my dear friends and wonderful family. I am still amazed to be happily married- so grateful to John. And I am blessed to get to spend time with my daughter Cate on this rainy weekend. I am grateful for rain.
Everyone has been solicitous of my recovery from knee surgery, but how lucky I am to have had surgery to reduce the pain. How I feel for my friend Tex, twice delayed from scheduled surgery for a hip replacement. How lucky I am to live in a country where health care is allocated without regard to whether patients have money to pay for it, where we all wait for surgery because everyone is entitled to it.
How lucky are we all to have thousands of health care workers who have been pushed so hard these last 18 months. Thank you to nurses, doctors, and health care workers in many professions who save lives and help us heal every single day.
I am grateful for COVID vaccinations. When it was first suggested that we would need a vaccine to be developed before we could be free of pandemic, it seemed a far-off possibility. It is sad how many people want to find reasons of high principle to reject vaccination. I sat with a friend at a fundraiser for the Tsawout Big House on September 30. She had just come from a funeral for the daughter of a friend. She died of COVID at 29 years old. Please, friends and family, please get the vaccination and stay well and be grateful. (And I know some reading this will be angry with me, but I have to share my gratitude for science and health care workers).
My blessings include living in Canada. But for accident of birth, I could be one of the women in Afghanistan trying to find any escape. I could be one of those trapped in Gaza with no relief in sight. It is hard to imagine a more privileged existence than to be above the poverty line and living in Canada.
No matter where we live, the human condition is far from perfect. We seem intent on treating this miraculous living planet as an unwilling partner in our suicide pact.
We need to be mindful, aware and grateful.
Being fearful and distracted are obstacles to our happiness – and to our survival.
I will be off in less than two weeks for COP26 in Glasgow. I stress about the carbon. I have not been on an airplane in more than a year and I vastly prefer staying off airplanes. To reduce carbon, I will take a non-stop flight from Vancouver to London, and a train from there to Glasgow. I will work very hard to ensure that the reason I attend – to press for real climate action – justifies the carbon. Still, I doubt I can. I will buy offsets. But.. still…
One last bit of reasons for gratitude this morning, my wonderful friend and constituent, David Boyd, Special Rapporteur for the United Nations for Human Rights and the Environment, https://www.
The motion was brought forward by Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland.
“The world’s future looks a little bit brighter today,” Boyd said. “The United Nations, in an historical development, has for the first time recognised that everyone, everywhere, has a human right to live in a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.”
One of the things on my “to do” list when Parliament resumes is to ensure that when the revisions to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act are re-introduced, the provisions for a right to a healthy environment become meaningful rights.
Many thanks to all of you who have sent encouraging messages. Stay well. Hug those within reach. Forgive those who have harmed you. Find new ways to share your love and blessings,
Including some updates on Green Party news.
If you are wondering, my most recent information is that the leader has not yet resigned.
I wrote this piece for the Toronto Star, but it was behind a paywall. The Times Colonist reprinted it and it is accessible here:
And this interview from former council member Louise Comeau is the first commentary to ask why the media was so uncritical in reporting unsubstantiated gossip:
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