It’s a great day to ….

If you knew me, you could easily say my favourite words are awesome and amazing, I rarely do not smile and I can be characterized as an eternal optimist.

Twenty years ago, I left everything I knew and cherished to come to Canada, the promised land, where a person can build a new life, have freedom of speech and equal opportunities. While I chose to dedicate my life to public service and became a teacher only a decade ago, I find myself at times less optimistic.

Each day, each week, month and year I work tirelessly to better myself, to learn and to set an example for my students, parents and fellow teachers as a lifelong learner. Learning is the air I breathe. My goal is teaching students to cherish learning.

So how does a person like me, an eternal optimist, a person who had to overcome things I honestly get tired talking about, loose optimism? I had to watch my grandparents' ration food so they do not starve, I had to see family members imprisoned and die, I had to see thousands starve and be killed in a civil revolution that pretty much led to more corruption and injustice. I had to leave everything I knew, my home, everyone I loved behind, such that my children and myself have a chance at a better life. These life events still did not bring me down.

What does is the rhetoric, the exclusion, the oblivious attitudes that create divisiveness. Canada is this amazing, beautiful amalgamation of multiple cultures. When we immigrated, we chose Canada because we felt this country is a mosaic of cultures, most likely to accept everyone, regardless of background, skin colour, accent, religious or sexual choices.

So what prompted this blog? I got a reminder. Someone I know recently received their Canadian citizenship and their milestone caused me to reflect on my own journey and experience as a New Canadian. Also, recently, I was told multiple times “don’t give up”, “we need more people like you”. These unrelated events are fuel to my optimism.

I want my students, my children, my many immigrant friends to live in a community that recognizes everyone’s contribution. I want parents who choose Canada as their children’s home to know that they chose well. I want these parents to feel pride in sending their kids to schools that have a diverse staff with similar experiences as themselves.

Remember “the primary ingredient for progress is optimism — the unwavering belief that something can be better, drives the human race forward”. Only by being optimists, will we overcome the challenges that face us daily. Only through optimism will we make meaningful changes and be positive contributors to the world we live in.

It is easy to dwell on what doesn’t work. What is hard, is to focus on what does, and promote it to the maximum. If we all focus on the positive changes in our lives, then the world will be a better place.

Simon Sinek said : don’t complain about what’s not working….celebrate what is working and work to amplify it.

It is a great day (every day) to be alive, to be present, to be loved and to love, to learn and share.

Keep being optimistic.