Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

      When November/December arrives to the northern Alberta regions, there is a great abundance of snow that is included in this “Winter Package” of sorts. It also includes the freezing temperatures that I like to call “next year I’m moving to a tropical location”, “I can’t feel my face, is it blue?” And of course, “Did I just see a yeti in a parka?”

     With the cold snow that many of us try to pretend is not going to happen this year, come a plethora of videos that range from “how Canadians breakdance” (by slipping on the ice of course), and the ever so delightful “Everyone forgot how to drive in the winter”. This one includes highway accidents at top speeds and cars bumping into each other because of the ice and snow that fell when they were unaware. And now especially on hills, it becomes a sort of uncontrollable mess that resembles the lines at Walmart.
       It ain’t pretty, folks.
       But this gets me thinking, there are a variety of car racing movies out today and the characters all claim that they are “expert drivers”, and I simply can’t avoid wondering: Would they be able to drive in a northern Canadian winter?
     Now just think about the titles alone, and how funny they would be: “Fast and Furious 19: The fast and the who put that snowbank there?”, or “Need for Speed: can I get a push, eh?”, or even perhaps “Dude, where’s my car? Answer: under three feet of snow”
     I’m serious. Think about how funny a racing movie would be mid-winter in northern Alberta.
     Hilarious is the word you’re looking for.
     But amongst the hilarity that would ensue with Vin Diesel screaming “I AM GROOT” as he spins in circles down the icy highway, there is something else very cold I have noticed this year:
     Humanity.
     Now I’m not saying that the entire world is evil, or that there are no amazing people in the world who are doing their very best to make the world a better place. But there seems to be a terrible trend I’ve been witnessing that makes me very sad. It’s presence is showing up everywhere including my Facebook News feed, the news, and in my personal life.
     Anger.
     Lies.
     Betrayal.
     Manipulation.
     Heartbreak.
     Abuse.
     Harassment.
     Prejudice.
     And Hatred.
     My heart is breaking this holiday season because of the horrible things I’ve witnessed, read about, and have had done to me. Everyday I fight to not lose my entire faith in humanity.
     Whether it’s the Facebook Meme that’s racist/homophobic/judgmental or generally cruel to anyone for no other reason than ignorance or to be cruel, or even the extremely scary and ridiculous dating scene (Believe me, it’s a minefield out there), I’m deeply ashamed of the trends that this world is promoting.
     But change will only happen if people do things about it.
     Now I’m not saying to take up arms and start protesting in violent and angry ways. That would defeat the entire purpose of what I’m trying to get across. But there is something that you can do to change the world around you.
     Be kind.
     Be strong.
     Be the person that affects change in a positive way.
     There are always going to be those people in our lives who speak hurtful words, who manipulate, and are filled with prejudice about something that they know little about. But even though this has honestly been one of the toughest years of my life, I will not let it change my heart of kindness into something hateful, cold, and mean.
     Maybe I’m naive and I will surely see heartache and sadness again, but I would still rather spread love and kindness in the world. Please over this holiday season and in new year help me out with this.
     Whether it’s a kind word, a helpful hand, volunteer work, or even standing up for those who are being marginalized by reporting something that has been posted on social media.
     It all counts.
     And let’s make 2017 a better year for everyone.

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