Last November, like millions of other people in Canada, I stood with bowed head as the list of those people who gave their lives for our freedom was read out.
I listened and agreed with the message from the minister, encouraging each one of us to strive for peace, in our towns and throughout the world. I echoed this thought in my heart as I thought about the deplorable state of the world.
Will we ever know world peace? I really do not think so. How many of us wish this could be, but do we really do anything to bring it about? How many of us harbour ill will towards people we identify as “foreigners”? Do we try to befriend people of other races, in our own community or do we think that they are different and that they should have stayed in their own country?
Like many other people in Oliver, I am not a native of Canada. I am a citizen but I wasn’t born here. I have never felt any hostility and have always been made to feel welcome but how many other immigrants feel as welcome?
When I hear racist remarks I bristle and, having a rather nasty streak in me, when people start to complain about foreigners, I will say, “Oh you mean people like me”? The person then feels embarrassed and usually denies that is what they meant, so this prompts me to add that did they not include white people as foreigners? I hate racist remarks and if I let people make them to me, I feel that I am equally being racist by allowing it.
I honestly can not understand the hostility towards our first nations community. Why are they vilified when they are the original Canadians. If anything, they should resent us, and probably many do, what right did anyone have to come to this country and take their land. How could they insist that everyone be the religion of the invaders? Taking children from parents and putting them in the abusive situation of the residential schools was cruel and unnecessary. What a big to do there is in other countries when one religion tries to take over another. These are the issues that wars are fought over.
The idea of only one real religion and the idea of taking away the rights and privileges of any one group of people is wrong and, unless we change our ways, there will never be world peace.
Greed is the other big issue, when vast amounts of money can be made from oil, diamonds or other valuable ores, there will always be the huge corporations ready to bully their way into taking other nation’s resources. If they won’t be given or traded to the advantage of the strongest nation, then we will find a way to make war so we can take what we want to have.
When we hang our heads at the cenotaph, our world leaders are always at the front of the line, with the showiest wreath, but do they actually feel the sorrow, do they really want world peace? Don’t they realise that war means that other mothers are going to lose their sons and daughters?
I hate the term “boots on the ground” this disguises the fact that those boots are on feet and those feet belong to someone’s loved ones. They are not troops, they are people and they are going to be maimed or killed
If we are ever going to bring about world peace it has to start with you and me. We have to include all Canadians regardless of colour or beliefs, as our kinsmen. |Does it really matter who they worship as long as they are good people? Maybe if we can be kind to our neighbours, we can do our own little bit to bring peace to our community and who knows where that could lead?