EDITORIAL: Be kind, be thoughtful, be Canadian – every day

Happy Canada Day – one that is sure to be like no other we have ever experienced.

As we celebrate Canada’s 153rd birthday, most of us will do so in a small social bubble of immediate family, and possibly close friends.

For many of us, this Canada Day will be the quietest one of our lifetime; no fireworks, no parade, no huge celebration with live entertainment in the park, no free cake (which hurts some of us more than others).

We are now at the halfway point of 2020 – a year that will go down in history as one of the most compelling years certainly of the last half-century.

Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the newsfeeds and that won’t change anytime soon.

It will be interesting to see how society changes, once we get past this latest health crisis.

On a more humanitarian level, 2020 has produced a long-overdue uprising from the populace, demanding systematic change for the way society treats non-Caucasians in predominantly white nations.

The Black Lives Matter rallies, as well as BIPOC rallies, have brought much-needed attention to the daily struggles of visible minorities in our society.

It is important to note, however, that in order for these movements to have any long-lasting effect, the messages must continue to be heard. These changes will not happen overnight.

The feminist movement has been happening for more than 100 years, and the inequalities are still rampant throughout the world.

The LGBTQ community has been battling for equal rights for nearly as long, and there is still a long way to go.

Not surprisingly, as the liberal voice grows louder, in support of equality, so too do the voices of racists, bigots and misogynists.

The shift remains to be seen, and that shift will only happen if those in favour of change continue to speak up and speak out.

So remember, when celebrating our national birthday today, that our diversity, our multiculturalism, our kindness to others is what makes our country so great.

Today, and every day – be kind. Be thoughtful. Be Canadian.