Knowing What You’ve Got

One of the best things about this time of year is the opportunity to take stock. We find ourselves reflecting on our accomplishments for the past year, what we are grateful for and thinking about the future. Sometimes, knowing what we’ve got, may get us farther, than wishing we had more.

Here is a list of a few things to consider:

1. We are connected.

In the age of LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube, we know a lot of people. According to one survey, 69% of Canadians visited at least one social networking site in the past year and 87% of households are connected to the internet. Take the time to tell someone that you love them, especially if they don’t expect it.

2. We are rich.

In 2013, The median family income in Canada was $76,000. The median household income in the United States was $52,250. The median annual household income worldwide was $9,733. Could some of us use more money? Yes. However, if you feel you have a little left over, donate.

3. We have lots to eat.

Too much actually. In a 2013 United Nations report 1.3 billion tonnes of food, about a third of the world’s supply, are wasted annually, costing global economies $750-billion (U.S.) and negatively impacting the environment – at a time when 1.2 billion people are living in extreme poverty. Moving food from those who have it, to those who do not, is a logistical challenge. Individually, we can contribute to the solution by donating cash and non-perishable food items to and on a regular basis.

4. We are healthy.

We live in a country with what it perceives to be the highest standard of health care in the world. However, the Commonwealth Fund recently released a comparative scorecard of 11 health-care systems in advanced industrial economies. The United States ranked 11th. Canada ranked 10th, its worst standing in the comparison since it began in 2004.

There are people in our neighbourhoods that need assistance in the healthcare system. It could be as simple as driving someone to the doctor or ensuring that someone is registered with the universal healthcare system. You may be surprised how inaccessible healthcare is in North America.

5. We are lucky.

You probably have heard the expression “luck is what you make it.” Is there a correlation between a positive attitude and good fortune? Check out Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut: Unbroken based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand. Its hardcover format spent an unbelievable 180 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. (Only 3 books have held that position.) The story of Louis Zamperini’s perseverance and courage inspires.

From all of us, Happy Holidays and all the Best of the New Year and Beyond.

Pauline, Megan, Carol, Natasha, John, Karen, and Jayne and