By Essie Wambui
Living in Canada particularly as a visible minority doesn’t come without challenges, but reasons to be thankful far outweigh certain misgivings. To begin with, “The True North strong and free” is often ranked as one of the best countries in the world to live, which in itself summarizes the many reasons specific to Canada for me to be grateful on this Thanksgiving Day.
- Life – Above all, I’m thankful and grateful for the gift of life. According to ecoloy.com, about 151,600 people die each day. I lived into today.
- Good health and a healthcare system that despite its many flaws won’t leave you bankrupt if you suddenly got ill.
- Food – Unlike many out there including in our Motherland Kenya, I’ll eat to my fill today. There are 795 million undernourished people in the world (wfp.org/hunger). That means one in nine people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life. Hunger and malnutrition are in fact the number one risk to health worldwide – greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
- Access to clean water and sanitation. One in 10 people lack access to safe water. I’m not one of them.
- I live in a country whose major cities are rated among the top in cost of housing, where many are priced out of home ownership and rent can take most of your income, and yet I have a roof over my head. That is worth gratitude.
- I can count on the genuine love of family and friends. That is a blessing.
- Functioning democracy that we highly pay for in taxes, but has a Federal, Provincial & Municipal system that works.
- Peace – I reside in a peaceful country that offers civil, religious and political freedoms to live a productive life.
- Security – I’m generally safe and protected from lawlessness & criminality.
- A land of beautiful landscapes and people who may not be always nice but are quite polite.
Happy Thanksgiving Kenyadians! What are you thankful for today?
By Esther “Essie” Wambui