The following message still applies as we head into the festive season rather than just departing Thanksgiving. Due to unforeseen delays our newsletter did not get out in October, but my blog message still applies. The economic comments below still make our current concerns about rising inflation seem paltry. Furthermore, we have the tools to work with our financial reality, while folks dealing with calamity focus day to day.
I decided to dispense with talking about financial matters in favour of focusing on giving thanks. Seems fitting enough as we recently enjoyed Thanksgiving on a spectacular Fall weekend that felt more like summer.
We all took the time with family to focus on what we were thankful for over the last year, right? Umm, I can’t say I take enough time to do that. It’s too easy to get caught up with the bustle of the day, fill up on turkey and fixings in one meal that probably was enough to spread out over a couple of days. But the question remains, do we truly appreciate what we have? It’s so easy to take what we have for granted unless, of course, we’ve come from some place else where the risk of losing everything is very real.
My wife and I have the privilege to be part of a local group with a long history of helping families in need come to Canada to make a better life for themselves. We are the group newbies amongst veterans. The experience has been both gratifying and humbling. While this story started almost three years ago, our family arrived just before Thanksgiving. Very fitting and symbolic. Our Syrian family of five started the last leg of their journey to Canada from Lebanon several years ago where they struggled to survive, literally. While Lebanon has a rich historical past, the last number of years has born witness to economic ruin. Inflation is running at 120% per year, the currency has devalued 90% in the last 24 months, 75% of the population is living in poverty, daily rolling blackouts, to name just a few of challenges faced by the Lebanese. And to be a refugee is even more difficult. Thirty hours travel and halfway around the world they now reside in Waterloo, where in their words, “they finally feel safe…and home.”
We have much to be thankful for.