Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ADAM OLSEN: Raising my hands in gratitude

Just a quick note before you read this post from Adam Olsen, which I feel is very timely.  There is a lot we can and should be grateful for, in whatever manner we choose to use in showing it.  The other day I was thinking of all the scandals that we’ve been hearing recently in both federal and provincial politics ... issues south of the border ... and hot spots around the world.  With all of that happening sometimes it’s hard to see things to be grateful for, however they are all around us. 

Thank you, Adam, for writing this post; a reminder of all there is to be grateful for ... Alan

I am thankful for this opportunity to capture and blog a few thoughts everyday. And, I am thankful for the people who read it, share it, and offer their feedback.

Thankfulness is popping up quite a bit recently.

During my journey practicing mindfulness with Sam Harris’ Waking Up meditation course, I chose a three-minute extra-curricular lesson on gratitude.

He said something that caught my attention. It's a reminder of how truly blessed I am, and how little time I actually spend thoughtfully thankful for it.

My family was sitting at the dinner table. It was a normal day, and looking at the faces of my family everyone appeared to be in a mediocre mood.

But then I thought, what if I was dead. I would do anything and everything I could to get back to this moment with my family.

And, then I thought, there are at least a billion people in the world right now who would consider their dreams had come true if they were in my situation. With a house, a family, and healthy food.”

His detail is lost in my paraphrasing, but this point captures why thankfulness is so powerful.

My mediocre is someone’s pinnacle. This could be a thought of almost everyone, in every situation.

Our culture trains us to focus on wanting and needing more. The script running through the back our minds tells us we are not good enough. Instagram confirms it for us.

Our culture does not focus on the benefits of gratitude. The feeling of comfort that this mediocre moment with my family is indeed a moment that I may never get again. And, when it is in that context, perhaps it is a little easier to honour it as much.

Practicing gratitude
So, at the end of each day my little family sits down with a notebook and captures ten things we are grateful for. Then, we share them with each other.

A lot has changed for us since we started this practice. I wonder what could change for you if you did the same?

Adam Olsen is the Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Saanich North and the Islands

Born in Victoria, BC in 1976, Adam has lived, worked and played his entire life on the Saanich Peninsula. 

He is a member of Tsartlip First Nation (W̱JOȽEȽP), where he and his wife, Emily, are raising their two children, Silas and Ella.


  1. Well said but incomplete, though a hint is of the problem is given in, "Our culture does not focus on the benefits of gratitude." The question of what makes our personal situations is implied but needs to be dug out of our subconsciousness to make sure we are aware of what can be lost. then we need to take it to the next step, the most important question we need to ask ourselves ... 'Am I acting in a manner that doesn't undermine the very things I value?'

  2. Well said Garret, especially your comment:
    ... the most important question we need to ask ourselves ... 'Am I acting in a manner that doesn't undermine the very things I value?'


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

WUN FEATHER -- can we just put those two names to bed for a while? You can call me an ‘Indian’ and I won't mind. And let's not call the farmers and ranchers ‘Settlers’ anymore

Hey there # TeamCanada !   I can't take it any more! Well, I guess I can, but I don't want to. I want to talk about the names we call each other. My very best friends, and all my Elderly Aunts and Uncles call me an Indian. I have walked into the most magnificent dining hall at the Air Liquide Head office, Quai D'orsay in Paris, France, surrounded by the worlds top producing Cryogenics team, and Patrick Jozon, the President of Air Liquide, has seen me enter the room, and yelled: " Bonjour! There is Warren! He is my Indian friend from Canada! He and I chased Beavers together in Northern BC!" And over 400 people turned to look at me and then they all smiled, and nodded. To most European people, an Indian is an absolute ICON!   The ultimate symbol of North America. They love us. And then, one time I had just gotten married and took vacation days off to take my new wife to meet my Grandmother; I was so proud. But as soon a


Show more