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Faith Meets Life: Grateful for quiche, among other things

Michael Veenema | Interrobang | Opinion | December 4th, 2006

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
Last night I decided to take a break from news about Israeli-Palestinian violence, environmental degradation and the “War on Terror.” I watched a movie I'd borrowed from a friend, Mississippi Burning (1988).

Instead of watching scenes of violence and mayhem sourced from Lebanon, I instead watched scenes of violence and mayhem depicting the Ku Klux Klan of the 1960s (nice break eh!). This organization, with its wacky mix of white supremacy and distorted Christian ideas, is still going and its website continues to invite new memberships.

It was probably a combination of not watching news and realizing that not all bad people get their way (as in the film) that reminded me to be grateful this week. A steady diet of news can make one feel that the world is teetering on the brink. Maybe it is, but as long as we're not over it, there's hope. And there are always reasons to be grateful.

Here are a few things I can think of off-hand to be grateful for.

First, there's food in my fridge. Last night I made a quiche from a recipe a friend gave me. It's even a recipe that doesn't require me to make a crust, so I can follow it without too much trouble. I made not just one, but two, so there's more in the fridge when I want it. My cupboards contain everything I need to make peanut butter sandwiches. There are even plates, glasses and cutlery to make eating and drinking easier.

Second, just about everyone in the city near which I live, Halifax, not to mention London, has a roof over their heads. This is a remarkable thing. I don't usually build things but, at the moment, I have a current project of building a small family cabin. Now I know what's involved in a roof! The lumber, the nails, and the shingles — amazingly they are all available at a number of building supply centres in the area. It's true! And these hundreds of thousands of roofs, all over the country, have been built by people who know a lot more about constructing things than I ever will. They are even paid for this. Honest!

Third, most of the people in my family are healthy. I have a young nephew who is dealing with some serious melanoma (which can be more dangerous than we often think). But, miraculously, there are doctors and hospitals working hard to return him to health. I myself was able to go for a run this morning. And everything worked! My legs, my lungs. Amazing!

Fourth, the sun rose this morning. In spite of the many problems in the world, the planet kept spinning all through the night. The local gas station opened so I can keep the car running (sorry, I still need one!). Newspapers magically appeared on people's doorsteps. Some of my favourite musicians will have gotten out of bed to play guitars and cellos. And then there's the morning smell of the woods around my house. I probably won't have time to go for a walk today, but even in the 180 seconds it takes me to scrape the car windows, the woodsy smells will make me feel glad to be able to step outside the house.

Finally, there are colleges and teachers, filled with students, books, breathable-air, washrooms that work, and job placement help. Need I say more?
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