A Canadian Reflection for 2015
As a first generation Canadian I do my utmost to bridge and respect my parent’s ethnic origins, while immersing myself into the cultural and ethnic diversity that Canada offers. As a young child and adolescent growing up in Toronto racism was something I encountered almost on a daily basis.
As time passes Canada’s ethnic diversity continues to bloom and flourish. The opportunities and variety of goodies that diversity has brought to us is immeasurable. Language, food, religion are but a few great things, but there are so many others – fashion, health alternatives, media options etc.
Perhaps my greatest fascination is to watch my kids and grandkids immerse themselves with people of all colors and faiths without any pre-ordained prejudices. Their friendships are not a function of what they wish others to be, but rather how they can enhance their own identities by exploring and accepting the unique qualities in others.
In 2015 and beyond we must allow religion and ethnicity to be a calling card for friendship and understanding. Tolerance is not an acceptable ideology as it bears no fruit.
The one entity that unites this newest generation of culturally diverse individuals is technology. Within that technology however lies a hidden danger. Technology quietly usurps what is unique within us and homogenizes it into an odorless and tasteless form of waste. We have done a great job of shedding prejudice, yet adorned ourselves with indifference. This is a dangerous alternative.
The world today, amidst all its progress and opportunity, is blanketed with hunger, poverty and war. There is an “old guard” that continues to enflame hatred and create division among the people of the world - so too, there are select autocratic rulers who suppress humanity for reasons of greed and power.
While ecumenical reform and the concept of a one world religion might sound like a potential solution, the only real solution is access to the truth.
Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism are not belief systems, they are opportunities to identify oneself with a personal God so that we can bring meaning to our lives. Sadly, our Gods and Prophets only ever had one message, and that was to love one another. How could such a simple message become so distorted and convoluted?
If we as human beings are to survive our own ignorance then we must learn to love one another and demand the truth. The old guard “must” be exterminated. They offer no hope, just misery and death. We fight their wars, play their games and follow their rules. The time has come to change the game. Weapons and weapons of hate bear no fruit and are not the devices that our Gods intended for us to employ. 2015 must be a year for reflection, prayer, love, assisting our fellow human beings and the time to demand the truth.
It is time for our heart and souls to re-experience the immigrant’s journey – finding a home and acceptance amongst strangers who will one day become our fellow citizens.
Happy New Year,