By Yvonne Sam
Canadians have spent an untold amount of time and hours, obsessing over Donald Trump, his shenanigans, political antics and Democratic frantics, when most of what matters and affects our daily lives occurs not only in our country, but also within our households and neighborhoods.
After his election victory in 2016, amidst growing disconcertion and public outrage, President Trump commanded center stage. As the days began to unfold, it was clear that he would be starring in a dual role — presiding and inciting. So there were reasons aplenty, for Americans to seek a change in 2020.
However, while our attention and worries are focused on the headline-making events of the day, and what the folks in Washington have to say — the things beyond our control — our efforts and actions should be concentrated on the local — the things that we have the power to change — the things at home, during this unprecedented time, which definitely includes provincial and federal governments, health agencies, city councils, service centers (formerly school boards), police etc.
Canadians’ daily encounters with their families, and the home environments they create for their kids, will affect their lives more profoundly than anything — good or bad — that occurs in Washington.
If you have failed to notice, and no one’s blaming you, there has been a lot brewing on these fronts. It is these offices and agencies that will determine fines for pandemic curfew violations, how long we will be required to wear masks, what our kids will learn (or don’t learn) in school — and when and where school takes place, for that matter.
If we feel fearful, on account of the curfew and strange individuals hiding behind masks and winter gear, we must remember that the competency of the local Police Chief and his team of police officers is more relevant to our safety and security, than whose been appointed Attorney General, or even how many National Guard troops were deployed to Washington, for the Inauguration.
We might still feel angry with some of the citizens for disregarding the hand sanitizing and failing to follow health regulations, thereby causing an increase in the number of Covid cases, nevertheless, in times like these, you might consider that your relationship with your neighbor is more important than your latest exchange with any number of virtual acquaintances on Facebook or Twitter. We’ve been pent up, and we have spent far too much time online and far too little investing in our communities.
And do not forget forget that our daily encounters with our family, and the home environment we create for our kids, will affect their lives more profoundly than anything — good or bad — that occurs in Washington. After all peace begins at home.
Canadian communities are great places to live, and we should keep it that way, regardless of what is taking place in Washington.
Yvonne Sam, a retired Head Nurse and Secondary School Teacher, is the Chair of the Rights and Freedom Committee at the Black Community Resource Centre. A regular columnist for over two decades with the Montreal Community Contact, her insightful and incursive articles on topics ranging from politics, human rights and immigration, to education and parenting have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Montreal Gazette, XPressbogg and Guyanese OnLine. She is also the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Citizen Award.