Canada Must Embrace Resilience At All Levels

Otherwise, we will continue to fall into the same destructive pattern of crisis, vulnerability, and abuse of government power.

As parts of Canada remain either mired in lockdowns, or – in the case of Manitoba – enter even deeper lockdowns (everyone in the province recently got a stay at home emergency alert texted to them), it is a reminder that the idea of resiliency has been completely abandoned throughout this past year and a half.

And that itself is a result of the broader dismissal of resiliency from Canada at all levels, whether it be personal, governmental, or corporate.

To start with, Canada was facing a mental health crisis even before the lockdowns exacerbated the situation.

Suicide rates (particularly a disturbing rise among young people), and a bevy of other mental health challenges – often shown through the rise in drug addiction and overdose deaths – had been surging for years.

Physically, our health has also been deteriorating, with obesity and unhealthy lifestyles on the rise. Childhood obesity has increased, reaching historic levels, with long-term serious consequences for the stability of our healthcare system, and more generally – a diminished quality of life for many Canadians in the years to come.

Economically, even before the crisis, our dependence on foreign nations had created serious vulnerabilities for our country. We can’t even trade freely between our own provinces, yet we are constantly told how much we need increased foreign ‘free trade’. Our universities and housing markets are increasingly dependent on wealthy non-citizens to pay the bills. Absurdly, despite our immense energy reserves, we import energy from places like Saudi Arabia, and our two most populous provinces are reliant upon a pipeline from Michigan.

And then, there is the psychological attitude of many Canadians, the basic ‘Canadian niceness,’ that increasingly manifests as passive weakness in the face of challenges. This attitude is another representation of a lack of resilience, as it implies an inability to summon up internal strength and willpower, and cedes control over events to others.

How the crisis exposed our vulnerability

It is often easy to pretend vulnerabilities don’t exist, as they can largely be avoided during ‘normal times.’

But when a crisis hits, those vulnerabilities are impossible to hide, and cause significant damage.

To start with, the Canadian attitude of weak passivity and political correctness led to our inability to heed warnings of the virus when it was emerging from China. We were told that calls for border controls and flight restrictions were ‘bigoted,’ with the ‘experts’ telling people about the danger of ‘stigma.’

Here’s part of a story from February of 2020:

“Misinformation around the novel coronavirus is stigmatizing Chinese-Canadians and having negative consequences on their Vancouver businesses, Canada’s health minister says.

Patty Hajdu made the statements in the city’s Chinatown after participating in a round-table discussion with members of the Chinese-Canadian community, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

“The nature of our conversation was about the impact COVID-19, the coronavirus outbreak, is having on their business, their organizations, and the fear and misinformation that is rampant online,” said Hajdu.”

It goes on:

“According to Stewart, some restaurants have reported a 70 per cent drop in business since the news of the outbreak became public.

“We’re here to support business in the local community who are suffering mostly because of misinformation,” said Stewart.

“We’re encouraging people to continue on with their regular business, to enjoy all the great food and services that are offered here in Chinatown and other Chinese communities because at this stage we consider everything to be safe,” he said.”

Remember, when the virus could have been stopped (strong borders and flight restrictions in Taiwan managed to protect that country to a large extent), we were told it was ‘low risk’ and that stigma was a bigger danger. Then, the same people who downplayed it initially used the crisis to ‘justify’ a massive erosion of our basic freedoms.

For many Canadians, taking tough action in our national interest is ‘too harsh’ or ‘mean,’ and thus we didn’t act until it was too late.

Mental crisis

Mentally, we have long been cultivating an attitude of victimhood, with being a victim somehow conferring an odd sort of status on people.

Rather than being defined by overcoming difficulty and through individual achievement, many now want to define themselves by being an ‘oppressed group,’ and using that as an excuse for failure.

That kind of mindset disempowers people, giving all their power to others – particularly those who are deemed to be ‘oppressors.’

The result is that happiness and fulfilment is outsourced and reliant on others, which makes people feel constantly besieged and in desperate need to control other people, rather than take control and responsibility over their own lives.

Coupled with the denigration of Canadian history, and this victimhood mindset has had a devastating effect.

People now internalize a sense of weakness or guilt, both of which are the opposite of the strength and pride that is necessary for a resilient mental framework.

Declining physical health

If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, it comes as no surprise that I am once again discussing the link between obesity and negative covid outcomes.

We already know most of the details around this, so I don’t need to go much further into it.

Suffice it to say that our society has become less and less healthy.

And it starts early, with childhood obesity at record historic levels as mentioned previously.

This is also connected to the weakness/political correctness/niceness that is so endemic in the minds of many Canadians.

Instead of pointing out the obvious dangers of obesity, and instead of accepting the simple reality that life tends to improve for people who are at a healthy and attractive weight, many have embraced the ‘fat acceptance’ and ‘healthy at any size’ mantras.

It’s an ironically anti-science approach based on making people feel good about being unhealthy, rather than encouraging people to take their health into their own hands.

And during the pandemic, that attitude has reached absurd levels, with politicians and ‘experts’ refusing to make the risk of obesity clear, refusing to incentivize exercise and healthy practices like increased Vitamin D consumption, and instead making it even tougher for people to get in shape, by shutting down gyms and shutting down outdoor fitness activities.

For almost a year and a half now, the authorities have been pushing for people to stay inside and order in, a combination that has led many to get in even worse shape than before – thus increasing their vulnerability.

Instead of encouraging people to take responsibility for their health, officials simply locked everything down.

Economic vulnerability

As a country with nearly endless natural resources, there is no reason for Canada to be so dependent on foreign nations.

And yet, our inability to produce vaccines here at home left us dependent on other countries, an embarrassing situation for our country to have been in. Increasingly, our economy is disconnected from tangible productivity, and instead relies upon gimmicks like large immigration increases and an absurdly overheated housing market to generate the illusion of ‘growth,’ while the underlying situation worsens.

It takes strength and resolve for a country to become more self-sufficient, and Canada has certainly lacked that for a long-time.

Resilience

In all these facets of Canadian life, an embrace of resilience, and a rejection of victimhood-based weakness is the answer.

A country where people become more mentally and physically resilient is a country that will have the strength to defend our interests, meaning we will be more economically resilient as well.

This is a goal that could unite our increasingly divided country, something we are in desperate need of.

Imagine if we set a goal of becoming the healthiest nation on Earth.

Even if we fell short, trying to attain that goal would bring countless improvements to our lives and our futures, and would have the downstream effect of lifting the pressure on our creaking healthcare system, not to mention ensuring that we could weather future health crises far better.

A vulnerable population is a population that is far more susceptible to abuse of government power, and an erosion of freedoms. There’s a reason that control-obsessed politicians fear a strong and resilient population, because strong and resilient people will insist on thinking independently.

Victimhood and vulnerability can never, and will never be viable in the long-term. That can only end in anger, division, and disaster.

Instead, we must embrace resilience, and ensure that Canada can face down and overcome challenges, rather than surrender to them.

Spencer Fernando

Image by Morana T from Pixabay

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