By Jimm Estill
Canadians, and others living in Canada, have the privilege of living in a great country. It is safe, wealthy, fair, resource rich, clean, fertile and a good place to live. Yes, we can find many things to complain about but those are all first world problems.
Where there are imperfections and problems, each Canadian can do a small part to help fix the problem. The message is what problem might you be able to help fix? By help, I mean what will you give up yourself (time, money, brainpower, comfort etc) – not just complain to try to force others to help.
My experience is people who help in one area, help in others. The person who volunteers teaching someone English is likely to also pick up trash in the street. The person who supports Heart and Stroke is likely to support United Way. Being a good person inspires you to be a better one.
People like to give but not when forced to. I view tax as the ultimate charity but admit that even I feel resentful at being forced to pay when I feel it is inequitable.
I like the high school volunteer hour plan… and I don’t. There have been many studies done that show once people are rewarded financially or with credits to do something that they no longer want to do it for intrinsic reasons. See Daniel Pink’s Ted Talk.
Having such a good country and easy life can make people start to think in terms of entitlement. And dissatisfaction that some other people have better things/treatment. I call this comparison dissatisfaction.
My best solution to this comparison dissatisfaction is to focus on gratefulness. What are you grateful for? Count your blessing daily. Give thanks for all we have been given. From a strictly practical view, this is better for your health – less stress. It creates happiness.
I am big on borrowing good ideas. So “Think not what your country can do for you – think what can you do for your country”.