Right in the Centre - Staying optimistic


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

Maintaining an optimistic outlook can be tough, especially if a person absorbs too much news. I think it’s important to be well informed and we should look at all the world around us, not just the bad news but the good news too. The sun came up this morning, if you are reading this, we can assume you got up this morning too. It’s spring and the crops will soon be seeded. The flowers are starting to sprout. The world is a pretty good place overall.

All that said, there’s lots to be concerned about but what do we do, what should our reaction be? The war in Ukraine is devastating, it is far away but the effects are felt in every community in the world. Grain prices are affected everywhere  but the stupidity of the war, the brutality goes beyond reason or even comprehension. That the world stood by and let Putin invade Ukraine is atrocious. The first Russian tank that crossed the Ukrainian border should have been blown off the face of the earth and the rest of the world should have said, “Stop, no further!” But the world didn’t, just as countries didn’t stand up soon enough to Germany in 1914 or 1939.

I think there are two kinds of wars, one of defence and one of aggression. I will admit that Russia may have some concerns with Ukraine but their complaints don’t justify invasion. The Russian losses have been horrendous and I predict Putin will not survive politically and perhaps not physically. Putin cannot, in any way, claim innocence on this issue. He’s driving the bus and he needs to be stopped. How many lives will be destroyed, how many buildings, how much land ruined remains to be seen but the war in Ukraine will end some day.

I will admit that country borders can be disputed, and have been for centuries, but the borders of most countries today are stable. For a country to invade another country is inexcusable.

When war breaks out, lives are lost, hunger and poverty follow closely behind. The United Nations and NATO were supposed to prevent wars. They have not been totally successful but it is largely because of a lack of commitment and courage on behalf of member nations.

We have a different kind of invasion in Canada. Let’s call a spade a spade here. China wants to control the whole world. It’s pretty obvious. Be it by manufacturing or by military force, China believes it’s the best system to run the world. I disagree. The evidence that China has been interfering in Canadian affairs is mounting. MPs are reporting being threatened. The Chinese government have “police” stations in Canada to keep track of immigrants and Canadians. Their huge network of students in Canada are sometimes being exploited unofficially and officially to nudge Canada towards the Chinese model. Both our prime minister and his brother have openly admired the Chinese regime.

I don’t. I love the Chinese people I know, but I have no patience with the Chinese government. We should not become any more dependent than we already are on China.

Some people would fear that without Chinese markets, our Ag industry would suffer. That may be true but when China gets hungry, they will buy food wherever they can and Canada has always provided food to world markets.

We have a different kind of invasion and that’s violence, be it guns, knives or machetes. This past week, four people were reportedly hacked with machetes outside the Apple store in Polo Park. Manitoba, like a lot of places has an idiot problem, plain and simple. Who in their right mind would do such things. That’s the catch, they aren’t in their right mind and the causes need to be addressed. Is it lack of respect, lack of discipline, alcohol, drugs or just plain stupidity? It doesn’t matter, as a society, there are issues that have to be addressed.

No one person can solve all the problems, but we must all work in our circles to influence wherever we can. So, don’t dwell on all the bad things, learn from them and then go out and do good things. Help a needy kid, offer some kind of help or help to others. Say no to bad behaviour when you have the chance. 

Just as we should not allow a country to invade another country we should not allow evil to invade any part of our lives or communities.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.