Monday Morning Musings

Posted on March 30, 2020 under Monday Morning Musings with 2 comments

See you in August, Kangiqsujuaq.


Where is the center of the universe?

Good question.

The earth makes up an infinitesimally small portion of the universe, but it is our world.

And where is the center of our world?

Growing up in Canada, many of us have felt that North America, and the United States in particular, is the straw that stirs the drink. These days, I’m not so sure. My six-month stint in India three years ago was very revealing. I read the Hindu Times every day to try and get a feel for what was going on in that part of the world. On November 8, 2016, the rupee was demonetized in India causing chaos in the country. Twenty-four hours later, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. His election shocked a lot of people. It was page 12 news in the Hindu Times.

The world is in turmoil these days, unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetime. The outbreak of Covid-19 has brought the planet to a virtual standstill. Rich and poor, young and old, are being affected in some way. As usual, the poor will be disproportionately affected.
One would like to think that we’re all in this together but in some countries, rugged individualism still reigns supreme. Individual rights trump those of the common good. The results could be disastrous.

So now, I will unabashedly wave the Canadian flag. We have never been considered the center of the universe. Most often, we are an afterthought to our neighbors to the south. These days, that’s quite alright, thank you very much.
Like everyone else, I am watching the news closely to see how other countries are responding to the pandemic. Many have been able to “flatten the curve” by heeding the advice of the authorities.

I’m not going to suggest that Canada is perfect. Far from it. We have problems and divisions like everywhere else. We have huge disparities between the rich and the poor. Our treatment of indigenous people is still a cause for concern… and embarrassment. Serious differences between the Federal government and the provinces is a source for worry. Our friends in Alberta are getting crushed with plummeting oil prices and Covid-19. This affects all of us, so it behooves us not to be too gleeful about low gas prices. Diminishing revenues from the oil patch affect all of Canada. Green energy may come sooner than we think.

On balance, it appears that Canada is tackling the pandemic as well as any country, but this does not mean we can afford to be smug. We are all now a part of Team Canada and must rally around our epidemiologists, medical experts, front line health care workers and, dare I say it, our politicians. While a few of our elected officials continue to play politics at this most extraordinary time, it is a pleasant surprise to see provincial and territorial leaders along with the Federal Government, all putting their collective shoulders to the wheel. We are all in this together. We must be in this together.

Many of us long in the tooth remember vividly the unity our country experienced in 1972 when our hockey team defeated the Russians. I walked through the town and the campus of St.F.X. University after Paul Henderson’s electrifying goal, watching hundreds and hundreds of people waving Canadian flags and singing “Oh Canada”.

We are a big diverse country. There is alienation, prejudice, racial bias and all sorts of other problems. This is a time to put our divisiveness aside, grab the oars, and continue to pull hard together. There are many tough days ahead, but a crisis of this magnitude may have a very decided upside in terms of bringing us together.

The center of the universe, by the way, is not located in any part of the world. It rests inside of you.

I will steadfastly observe the “cone of silence” for the next two weeks. You won’t see me, but you’ll hear from me. Only a collapse of the internet will shut me up!

Please be safe.

P.S. Made it back to Halifax last night.

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2 Responses to Monday Morning Musings

  1. Brenda Rose says:

    Well said, and welcome home. I’m looking forward to more normal times, when people can sit together in the same space without endangering each other’s lives.

  2. Shelley says:

    Wonderful words of wisdom and reflection – as always.
    Welcome home, Len!

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