Once in a while, something gets under my skin and I just want to scream, and it happened today. This is my version of a rant:

It is Sunday, November 11th. I just finished watching the televised Remembrance Day Service from Ottawa. I wept for the Silver Cross Mother and all mothers who have lost children to war. My heart overflowed with gratitude as the cameras panned the elderly and sometimes feeble male and female veterans from WWII.

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I was proud of the young people of multiple ethnicities in attendance. Some were more noticeable than others. One in particular caught my attention: a young female cadet wearing white sea cap over her hijab. There is no need to fear her hijab any more than a kilt worn by a piper. (A kilt has a giant pin.) I would urge you to watch a CBC Documentary called “14 and Muslim.”

Our willingness to welcome people from all over the globe sets us apart from most countries. It makes us unique. Therefore, we celebrate the cultures of all our people all the way from St. Patrick chasing the snakes out of Ireland to the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying mighty Greek armies.

Unless you belong to Canada’s aboriginal community, you are an immigrant too. I urge you to resist getting swept up in the current mob culture of hysteria and fear.

Compared to the rest of the world, we are wealthy beyond measure. This means we have an obligation to take  care of the suffering and disadvantaged among us including: the addict, the imprisoned, the homeless, the  fatherless, the poor, the hungry, the mentally ill, the illiterate, the disabled, and the immigrants; in other words, those who have been marginalized by circumstances over which they have no control.

Call me a bleeding heart, if you like. I can live with that. After all, I am a closet social worker at heart. Someone has said: “The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.” These people do not make million dollar donations to political parties, hospitals and universities. They are struggling to feed and clothe their families.

I believe with my whole being that we can never go wrong extending love, kindness, and compassion to everyone who crosses our path. We may not be popular, but we will have a clear conscience.

I will leave you with a quote from an individual who spent her lifetime doing just this: Mother Teresa, a tiny, unassuming nun who selflessly gave her life to the unwanted, the unloved, and the uncared for in the slums of Calcutta.

“Let no one ever
come to you without leaving
better and happier.
Be the living expression
Of God’s Kindness:
Kindness on your face,
Kindness in your eyes,
Kindness in your smile.”