Right in the Center - Don’t be so negative, Ok?


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

In just about every TV show, on-line story or in actual conversations, I hear so much negativity.

The TV shows are a riot, especially the real estate ones. A couple looks at three houses, picks the one best suited to them and then goes hard on renovations. The initial negativity really galls me.

They come into a house, take one quick glance at the kitchen and say, “This kitchen has got to go. The cabinets are dated, the counter top is the wrong colour and it’s not granite.” My goodness, I would like to take the folks back in time to my mother’s kitchen in the 1960s. It consisted of a brick lean-to tacked onto the side of an 1896 one and a half story brick home. The ceiling was so low you could easily touch it at the low side. There was no running water or sewage and the kitchen cupboards consisted of a plywood, home-built box with a painted masonite top. The only additional work surface was a kitchen table and the wood stove top. If today’s home renovators had to live and work in my mama’s kitchen, they would not have been so quick to rip out what looks to me like pretty good cupboards, oops, sorry, cabinets.

Way too much negativity.

On the street you hear people complaining about their latest meal at a restaurant. This wasn’t right, that was wrong. Complain, complain, complain! If those same complainers could spend a day or two in Ukraine or in parts of Africa, they might change their minds about food. In Canada, it’s pretty hard to sympathize with food quality and quantity complaints when most if us are as fat as we are.

Way too much negativity.

In terms of politics, we have lots to be thankful for. That said, we need major improvements and some needed changes are pretty self evident. We will leave that for another column. When we compare Canada to China, to Russia, to Brazil or even the United States, we have it pretty good.

Health care receives lots of criticism but even with all our problems, health care is pretty good in Canada. Having experienced both Canadian and US health care personally and first hand, I would say when it comes to emergency care the two countries are about the same. If you need emergency care, it happens pretty fast in both countries. Canada falls behind when it comes to wait times. Wait times basically don’t exist in the US. Not in Mexico either, as I have been told by people with first hand knowledge of their system.

Where Canada beats the US is in cost to the individual. In Canada, we all pay for each other’s care but in the US, it’s health insurance or cash up front. In my experience, the health care bureaucracy in both countries is equally bad but neither deserve the level of negativity we often hear.

What it boils down to is, do the best you can with what you have, look forward to continual improvements. One way of summing it up is to: hope for the best, prepare for the worst and take what you get. Sounds a bit brutal, but maybe there’s a better way of coping. An old song from the Christian church says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings and see what God has done.” How true. Never mind the dry toast at the restaurant or the cool coffee. Maybe be happy with the old kitchen cabinets. Be thankful that we have pretty good doctors, health care staff and hospitals.

Counting our blessings is a good place to put our minds, away from the negativity. Having escaped from negativity, maybe we can work together to fix stuff, be it food, cabinets, health care or any one of many human issues. It’s a lot easier to build and renew from a positive mindset than from the depths of negativity.

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.