I Won The Lottery

By Gerald Walsh ©

No. I don’t mean Lotto 649. I won the birth lottery.

What do I mean by that?

It means I was lucky to be born in Canada, a peaceful, free and democratic country.

It means I was lucky to be born white and male, which has granted me many privileges throughout my life and career.

It means I was lucky to be born to parents (Marie and Nick) who were together and loved each other. And while we didn’t have piles of money, we were solidly middle class and there was always food on the table and presents under the tree at Christmas.

It means I was lucky to be given the opportunity and encouragement to go to university and obtain an advanced education.

These privileges were simply gifted to me at birth. I did nothing to earn them.

Yet they have given me great advantages throughout my life when compared to most people in this world.

That's what I mean by winning the birth lottery.

Why do I bring this up?

Many of you reading this blog fit this same profile. I can’t speak for you but for me it creates a sense of responsibility to help others in our community who were not granted such gifts.

So if you have a similar profile, I encourage you on this Canada Day weekend to think of others who face uphill battles every day because of their skin colour, country of origin, gender, ability, religion, and economic status.

I ask you to consider:

How you can use your place of privilege to correct some of the injustices that occur right here in our community?

How you can open the doors to employment opportunities for those who are newcomers to Canada?

How can you share your talents and connections to help others who face disadvantages like lack of education or poverty?

Lastly, I ask you to think about what it would be like if you were born in a country that does not have the advantages offered in Canada.

When I think about it, I am filled with gratitude, knowing how lucky I am and how it could have easily gone another way.

I hope you have a happy, gratitude-filled CANADA DAY!


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Gerald Walsh is an executive recruiter, career coach, public speaker and author. He is the author of “PINNACLE: How to Land the Right Job and Find Fulfillment in Your Career. You can follow Gerry on Twitter @@Gerald_Walsh