Benns’ Belief: Perspective is everything

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By Roderick Benns

Roderick Benns is the publisher of The Advocate. An award-winning author and journalist who grew up in Lindsay, he has written several books including Basic Income: How a Canadian Movement Could Change the World.

As I write this in mid-November the thermometer dips. Winter’s here, I realize, and the maple tree starts to shed its leaves outside my office window. I despise winter.

Friday evening. I can hear the idiots racing their cars on Durham and Victoria Streets, probably selfish 20-somethings who think the world revolves around them. Where are the police when this happens, I wonder?

Later in the week I can’t figure out why my wifi is so slow when I’m right on deadline with the Advocate. I spend way too much time with the internet provider on the phone, questioning the company’s commitment to customer service.

In another tech issue, I can’t remember my password for my Microsoft subscription. I don’t know —could it be it’s because it’s one of 10 million passwords I seem to need these days for everything? I click “forgot password” and come up with yet another letter-number combination that I’m sure, this time, will be different and memorable.

Mail’s here. Thanks, Scotiabank. Just love this thoughtful notice that property taxes are being increased. Do I not already pay enough?

Still in mid-November and the sun is brilliant this morning. I take a moment to look out the window and watch the latest round of leaves falling, snapped off by the frost in a glorious clutch of colours. How incredible this time of year is; how soon the holidays will be here to enjoy.

The latest Kawartha Lakes Police Service report lands in my email box. They’ve caught someone for speed racing, not far from where I live.

Taking a walk downtown Lindsay I see a group of people huddled on the library front steps so they can access the library’s free wifi. Much ridiculed on social media for doing this, I realize that, unlike me, these are people who have no Internet at all.  

While doing some online banking I think back to the time they alerted me when my card had been compromised. We recommend you change your password, Mr. Benns. We’ll refund these few charges that weren’t yours. We all hate passwords. But the digital landscape is only getting more complex.

Driving by on Lindsay Street, I see that A Place Called Home’s new homeless shelter is well on its way to being finished. Did I honestly get angry at a property tax bump? These people are lacking the most foundational aspect of life — a place to call their own.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to practice gratitude, but also to share it with others. To see good fortune when there are bumps in the road. To see blessings when there are trials. At this moment, I feel gratitude for each one of you who are reading this, and I wish each of you a very happy Christmas.

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