Thursday, December 27, 2007

Do We Have It That Bad?

Although this is typically a wonderful time of year when families come together, it is also very hard not to be cynical and disappointed in the way we collectively behave as a society. By 8am this morning more than a few conversations were overhears about how "oh, I didn't get what I wanted for Christmas" or "I ate way too much..."... and perhaps on any other day it would be an easier pill to swallow.

But today in light of recent events, we don't have a right to complain. Today Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at a campaign rally for the Jan. 8th election where one of her goals was to help put an end to terrorism. She had considerable favor from the United States and Canada, as she was attempting to gain political control over a country whose last leader took power in a coup in 1999 rather than an election. This is a country on very shaky political ground, with nuclear weapons and a support base for Muslim extremists.

The sad thing is; here is a woman who swam upstream and was KILLED for it. How bad do we have it that by choosing to swim upstream we are rewarded, and in not doing so our only punishment is that we miss out on all the opportunities a North American life has to offer. We simply cannot be so callous that we turn a blind eye to other areas of the world that we don't understand. The fact is, there may be precious little that you can or want to do about a dangerous political scene in the middle east.

There is MUCH, however, that you can do about your own life, it's course, and the impact you have on a society that others could only wish to be a part of. In a world where others are killed for exercising their right to free speech and for trying to make a difference... it is baffling that we still care what Britney will do to screw up her life next, or that we complain about exerting a little effort to move ourselves and others ahead, or that we think we deserve a better shot at success than those in Pakistan or anywhere else.

Give your head a shake -- it is called dumb luck; and to think anything else, and to rely on that luck to continue, or that you deserve a better life than someone born into a more hazardous world -- is just plain dumb. We do not have it that bad, so please remember the perch that you speak from in comparison to the rest of the world before you open your mouth to complain about something that really - isn't that bad to begin with.

And to Benazir Bhutto, it is our hope that you have sparked a vision that others will follow, and that your life made a difference in a troubled part of the world - thank you for swimming upstream and being an example of true bravery and conviction for us all.

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