Kids and the Case for Optimism




It is, without a doubt, my favourite time of the year. I get to pop around the country and meet the kids from the Spread the Net Student Challenge. It is more exciting than jumping out of an airplane.  It is more restorative than hearing the harmonious screams of a terrified Jann Arden. Because if you’re like me, you’re easily distracted.

Perhaps you spend a big part of your week immersed in Question Period. Perhaps you just watch the news on occasion. Either way it’s easy to get sucked into a dark place.  If you do, the cure is in Fort McMurray.

Yes, Father Mercredi High School in Fort Mac. It’s like any school anywhere in the country except the kids there have one thing in common. Every one of them had to flee their homes because fire threatened to destroy everything they loved. Less than a year later, guess what else they have in common? They’re all back at school, hard at work, raising money to help kids on the other side of the planet who are less fortunate than they are. If you could bottle that, the world would not need anti-depressants.

And if you ever think the glass is half empty, go to Riddell Elementary in Hamilton, Ontario. There’s a girl there, she’s in grade eight.  She is so excited to go to that school, in that town, in this country. She is so proud that she helped buy bed nets to help kids that she does not know sleep safely at night.  Less than one year ago she was a Syrian refugee. That’s who I’m going to think about the next time I hear about the odious expression Canadian values.

Yes, it is my favourite week of the year. Spread the Net and spread the word. The kids are alright. The future is bright. Now let’s get to work on the present.

Posted: 29/03/2017 9:49:39 AM | with 0 comments



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