By Wayne Litke
One more day and it’s the big one. That’s right – tomorrow is C. A. Nada’s B-Day and I hate to admit that celebrating is not high on my list of priorities at this very moment. However, that will change when I start mingling with people and catch the party spirit. I generally don’t really care for birthday parties, unless they are in honour of a truly special occasion or milestone.
To simply have a festivity because a person was born one or 19 or 50 years earlier seems a little silly to me. Perhaps my sense of values is off the mark a little since I never had much of a birthday party when I was a youth. I never had a bunch of friends come to my house with gifts and the expectation of playing games and eating cake and ice-cream until they were ready to throw up.
Now, before your eyes get moist and nasty thoughts fill your head regarding my evil parents, it should be noted that my siblings and I were each allowed to have one big bash. I was permitted to have three friends attend my birthdays and one was able to stay overnight. At that time, my family was living in a trailer (yes, I am trailer trash or the product thereof), so space was always at a premium. Despite the small number of people at my party, we had fun. I did not feel like I missed out on anything. However, I was a little irritated at how the size of my sisters’ birthday parties somehow increased in numbers.
Having said all that, a birthday is actually a good reason to celebrate and enjoy time with family and friends. It beats the tar out of funerals and applies to every person on earth. Unlike a wedding anniversary, a birthday typically focuses on one individual and the event is not dependent on anything other than surviving for a full year. Speaking of anniversaries, a friend at Consul has a unique birthday greeting: “Happy anniversary of the date of your birth.” Using that phrase makes it difficult to sing the Happy Birthday song, but it is technically correct nonetheless.
Above all things, a birthday should be a time to reflect back and be appreciative for the good things and the good times we have each enjoyed. We certainly have a lot to be grateful for in this great country and it is most appropriate to meditate on those things during C. A. Nada’s birthday tomorrow. Therefore, I ask residents to think about the good qualities that life in Canada offers. Share some of those thoughts with friends and family at our nation’s 148th birthday celebration at the Jasper Centre and Oldtimers Museum on July 1. There is plenty going on (see the advertisement in this paper for a schedule).
On a negative note, we can always find plenty of reasons to criticize and execute judgment when it comes to national leaders and government bureaucracy. However, there is so much more to this country than faults – there are a great many positive attributes that make Canada special.
Sadly, I sometimes become complacent over time and overlook the blessings that we all enjoy because we have the privilege of living in this country. Like many other people, I tend to take the greatness of our nation for granted and then allow belly-aching and fault-finding to slowly consume my thoughts and speech. That is simply not right and I apologize for the times when negativity was the hallmark of my world. Criticism should be constructive and the fact we can be critical of our government and leaders without fear of imprisonment is something we should not take lightly. It is a well-known fact that speaking openly against a ruling government can result in imprisonment, torture or an unexplainable and permanent disappearance in some countries.
What is special about Canada and why should we celebrate our nation’s birthday on July 1? For me it’s simple. I truly appreciate our:
– peaceful country
– freedom in all areas of
life: speech, religion,
travel, business . . .
– quality of life
– clean air
– good drinking water
– abundant food
– economic stability
– natural resources
– education system
– medicare system
– good friends & neigbours
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