Much obliged

A hot sweaty day was interrupted spontaneously by a pelting rain shower in Dallas, Texas.

It forced an early lunch but was a welcome chance to talk about new printing equipment we had just seen at a graphics show hosted there. 

As my manager and I marveled at the new materials, advanced equipment and latest processes to drive customer satisfaction, a Bud Light and a sandwich led to reflections on the old days. Pails of ink, jugs of chemicals and an assortment of environmental peccadilloes have been replaced with more friendly practices. Along with those items, automation has streamlined tedious, often back-breaking labour. 

Once on that train of thought,  – the great fortune of printers in 2020 as opposed to 1920 – we tried on a phrase that we hope to use in a book one day. Granted that book will never be on the best seller’s list and copies will likely need to be passed on free of charge to family and friends. Everybody has a book they could write.

As to the phrase? I am grateful to have had a privileged life. With that voiced we felt the need to explain further it was a different context than a life of privilege or a worry-free existence. Opportunity, friendships, business relationships –with an enterprising spirit, all were there to be had. It was an expression of immense gratitude.

Our lives as Canadians, whether ultra-wealthy, comfortable or working poor, are infinitely better than most other places on the planet. We don’t know of anyone who is enormously wealthy, but the vast majority, if they work hard and focus on their responsibilities, can make it in Canada.

Watching coverage of the earthquakes along the Turkey/Syrian border, flooding in Pakistan and India, and natural disasters in already impoverished countries drives home the good fortune we have to live here in Canada. Top that off with an almost year-long military battle in Ukraine and it grinds on the patience to hear people bemoan their First World problems.

Over the holidays we remember a few social media posts decrying the lack of garbage pickup in the most savage storm to hit Wellington County in years. “What am I supposed to do now?” one poster moaned. Always an observer but never a participant, we wanted to reply something like, “put it in a can or your trunk until next week when the weather improves.” Common sense in this land of plenty is becoming increasingly rare. The sense of entitlement and absence of problem solving is almost scary.

As sacrifices in Ukraine are remembered and recovery efforts overseas continue, take a step back and consider the privileged lives most of us lead. 

Really think about it.

Canada is pretty fantastic.