How much time do you spend in gratitude?
Do you take time each day to reflect on all you have, and all that is available to you?
Do you lament what you don’t have and feel you are owed more?
Yesterday served to remind me once again of how blessed we Canadians are to live in the greatest country on the planet.
I spent the day at one of our local hospitals. My wife, Gimalle, was undergoing day surgery and required my superlative driving skills.
Our day began at a local clinic where Gimalle underwent a small procedure to prepare her for the day surgery and then we drove to the hospital.
We had been told that Gimalle would be in the hospital for some seven hours and that there was no need for me to stay, but as Calgary was in the midst of a heavy snowstorm with treacherous roads, I decided I deserved a day off from work and stayed in the hospital with her.
Rocky View Hospital, like every other hospital, is a never ending hive of activity with people rushing in every direction in what appears to be a highly organized state of chaos.
Hospitals are places where lives begin and lives end and every patient brings their own story to the hospital with them.
I heard a number of these stories throughout the day as I talked with people in the cafeteria and in the waiting room and it was fascinating to hear their views of our healthcare system.
Yesterday, like every other day, Rocky View Hospital delivered miracles into the lives of hundreds of people.
Eyesight was restored, tumors were removed, bones were reset, babies were born, hearts were restarted, life-saving medicines were dispensed, blood was transfused, people were cut open and put back together and even small owies’s were made to feel better.
The patients received the very best, highest level of medical services available anywhere in the world delivered with the skill and competence that comes from yesterday being nothing more than ‘another day at the office’.
And each beneficiary of these remarkable services will go home to find no bill awaiting them in the mail.
Today will bring in exactly the same wonders for a new round of blessed Canadians.
Over the course of the day, as I spoke to folks waiting for their loved ones in the Day Surgery waiting area and with a few patients waiting their turn, I realized that not everyone appreciates the blessings bestowed upon them by virtue of living in this great country.
The vast majority of those I chatted with shared my level of appreciation and gratitude but, unsurprisingly, there were those for whom nothing could ever be good enough.
After listening to one man, complaining about the cost of parking for more than 20 minutes, my endless patience reached its end and I told him he should be ashamed of himself whining about a small cost with his wife receiving world-class medical attention and would continue to receive every level of care she may need regardless of his finances or how much insurance he may have.
He began an angry retort which was rapidly shortened when I received vocal support by two people sitting across from me.
One elderly lady told him that if he was so unhappy with health care in this country, he might consider moving elsewhere.
I guess the reason so many people have an unending sense of entitlement and complain so readily is because they have nothing to compare our healthcare system to.
I have friends who have come to this country from places around the world where the calibre of healthcare ranges from mediocre to nonexistent and they marvel at their good fortune for being welcomed into this wonderful country.
They truly get it because they have seen what not having it at all is really like.
Our healthcare system is frequently bashed in the media and by opposition politicians.
I have no doubt, the system can be improved, can become more efficient and can be more cost-effective.I also understand that the role of the media, like that of politicians in opposition, is to criticize everything. That is their job.
But as a person who has been the beneficiary of our system and who would no longer be here without it, my gratitude for our health care system, and particularly those countless thousands of remarkable people who work tirelessly within that system to provide an incomparable level of caring, my gratitude for being a Canadian knows no bounds.
Gimalle has done remarkably well. A little groggy yesterday, she is back to her usual self today, so much so that I had to exercise my full authority as the male – and therefore head of the household – to order her not to do any of her usual Saturday activities.
And those of you who know her can imagine how well that was received.
Gimalle shares my thankfulness for the blessings Canada gives us.
We embrace gratitude in our daily lives.
And encourage you to do the same.
P.S. My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours is selling very well. Please visit us at www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.