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 advantages 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 weren’t wealthy, 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 attend university and obtain an advanced education.
These privileges were gifted to me at birth. I did nothing to earn them. Yet they have given me significant advantages throughout my life 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 so lucky.
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, or economic status.
I ask you to consider:
How can you use your place of privilege to correct some of the injustices that occur right here in our community?
How can you open the doors to employment opportunities for 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 of Canada.
When I think about it, I am grateful, knowing how lucky I am and how it could have easily gone another way.
I hope you have a happy, gratitude-filled CANADA DAY!