My Biggest Birthday Wish!
Those who know me know I am not a big birthday guy. Could be that I got a big beating on my tenth birthday for not eating my noodles, a traditional birthday food in China. You could say I am a rebel from a very young age. 34 years later I still remember the pain and humiliation like it was yesterday. But what hurt the most was the fact that the rest of my family stood by and watched. Their silence was compliance. Their inaction was a vote. Their neutrality was betrayal. My forgiveness of them took a long long time and many years of self work.
That being said, I have big hopes and dreams for this year’s Birthday. Why? Because of the Truckers!!!! BABE!!!! I am not an anti-vaxxer. I have all my shots up to date except COVID. I’ve told all my family and friends when it makes sense I am not opposed to getting vaxxed too. But here’s what I know as facts (feel free to point out where I was mis-informed):
- Covid didn’t divide us. We divided us.
- Countries that are doing fine without the vaccination mandate: UK, Mexico, India, Russia, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Most of USA, Most of Europe, Most of South America, All of Africa.
- When ICU beds are in short supply the Canadian Government spent over 600 million on unnecessary early federal election; invested 1.6 billion on ineffectual vax pass system and fired thousands of qualified nurses and doctors.
But let’s not dwell on the past let’s look toward the future. Here’s the list of my birthday wishes:
A) I wish my beloved Canada can remain a welcoming place for people of different opinions, backgrounds, beliefs, ethnicities, genders, physical and mental abilities, religions, creed etc.
B) I wish the people of Canada and the world can ALWAYS have civilized debates and discussions without blaming, labeling, personalizing, smearing, name-calling, mud-slinging and hating one another.
C) I wish we, homo-sapients can rise above this our latest challenge and become a species that co-exist with our environment, our world and our animal and plant neighbours in a harmonious and sustainable way.
Canada is my home. I chose to live here not because of its climate, cuisine, or subway system. I chose to live here because of her people. I will always remember the very first Canadian I ever saw in my life. We landed in Vancouver Airport. I was eleven and was suffering terribly from my first trans-continental flight. A kind mid-aged security guard at the airport approached my mom and asked if I needed help and offered some Gravol. My mom bit it in half and gave it to me. Up until then I didn’t know what a Canadian was. Just some American Wanna-be’s living in igloos I thought. But that caring man in shiny white uniform, with his grey moustache and grandfather like smile will always mean Canadian to me. I thought to myself: I am going to be happy and safe here.
Canadians always had our differences. Whether it’s between the aboriginals and the settlers; the Chinese Labourers and the CPR; the French and the British; the Japanese Canadians and Internment officers; the loyalists and the rebels; the eastern and the western provinces; the Leafs fans and Canadiens fans; the poutine eaters and malt vinegar fanatics. Why do we allow this Vax Mandate debate to divide us so? Why can’t we pause and look inward? Why can’t we find the common grounds that bond us for 154 years? There is nothing more important than the ability to take care of each other in time of crisis. There is nothing more essential than the capacity to love your neighbours in times of need. If we have different ideas on how to do these things then Let us talk in a peaceful manner with open hearts and open minds.
We are human beings before we are Canadians. As a species we are pretty F’ed up. Let’s just say it ALL together: “We Are F’ed Up!!!!!” Now take a deep breath and take a bow. Doesn’t it feel incredibly liberating to own up? Why were we SO F’ed up? Because we were too ignorant, too busy, too distracted, too selfish, we don’t think we can make a difference, we’ve forgotten why we are here, we didn’t care anymore… Most of All, it is because many of us didn’t know any better. Now that we know better, let’s do better. The only person who can make a difference is staring at you from the mirror. Canada is pretty great but it can be better. The world is awesome but it can be better. We all made mistakes but we are not going to lose the lesson.
I am writing to you on my 44th birthday. I am truly blessed to be here in this world, among 7 billion beautiful, shiny, energetic, kind, loving, gentle, caring, compassionate, intelligent, righteous human beings. I know we fight sometimes, but we are all family. Let’s come back to the dinner table. Even if most of us want noodles we have room for rice-lovers. Even-though it’s the tradition to eat noodles we won’t allow big daddy to get the stick to enforce it on anyone. We’ve all grown up and can protect our brothers and sisters from unjust treatment. Will you stand up for your siblings’ freedom to choose even if you don’t agree with their choices?
Please let us know how you wish the Truckers’ Rally would go? What are your aspirations for a Post-Covid Canada? Do you still see the world as beautiful?
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I enjoy your articles. I feel the same. Division amongst family and friends saddens me. I try to empathise and think its possible these persons haven’t felt the damages from the loss of FREEDOM. Canadian history has deeply influenced my choice for FREEDOM. All I want this year is for e very person to be FREE.
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Thanks Joni, what a wonderful new year’s wish! I love the fact that I never met you yet I feel I’ve known you for a lifetime. It is because we share the same love in our hearts. Love for this country, this world and this humanity.
Hi Zen Wang I hope you had an awesome birthday! I’m not sure you if you know this but I’m a friend of your father and mother inlaws. I met Luc and Michele in 10.2018. They stayed at our AirBnB here on Grand Manan Island NB. My daughter Reiko was running it. Luc was an angel who came here just in time to help me with a few repairs to secure the home before the winter. I’ve enjoyed your articles and I think you’re a very talented artist. The life you are living is admirable. I’ve been to Nelson many times! Reiko is in Vancouver. An artist as well. She worked at the Nikkei National Museum as an archivist. I’m very proud of her Matsubayashi Collection which is now saved forever in the archives at the Nikkei Museum. https://centre.nikkeiplace.org/research/search-the-collection/
Today I requested a digital copy of our Matsubayashi family crest. I plan to search for my families Samurai sword.
I feel we have many ideas of the same.
I’m Facebook friends with Luc and Michele. I was connected to Flore Hana it just wasn’t for me. I’d love to add both of you as friends.
Sincerely Joni (Pleau)