When I woke up this morning I turned on the local morning news. There was a shooting at the University of Alberta, and at least three people are dead. When I was pregnant with my son 23 years ago, a shooter went into UQAM, a university in Montreal, and killed 14 female students. My niece, and her husband, were studying at Virgina Tech when the shootings took place there. Living in Canada…fourth on the list of most peaceful countries in the world…this does not happen often. I have trouble understanding why these shootings happen.
I realise that the majority of the planet does not have peace. I watch the news reports from Syria…children being used as human shields…and I think of my friend Yara who emigrated to Canada only a few years ago, and her young daughter. I know that she still has six siblings, and parents, that live in Syria…my heart is heavy for her. I do not understand the kind of hate that one must have in their heart to take another person’s life. It does not matter the reason; politics, religion, insanity…there is no reason to take another life.
At times when I feel like the world is a crazy senseless place I remember the people who live, or lived, for peace; Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Dali Lama…they are the examples of the kind of life I want to live, and the world of peace that I pray for.
This video makes me think about the marches going on in Montreal right now. I am a Montreal native…I was born and raised there…having moved to Edmonton 15 years ago. My friends are aware that I am from Montreal, and so have asked my opinion about what is going on there. I have to admit that it is difficult to understand the city and the people of Quebec and Montreal, unless you are from there. In Quebec, and especially Montreal, politics infuse every aspect of your life. That is why I don’t live there any more…I miss the people and culture of Montreal, but not the politics.
I wish I could say that the protests will not escalate, and that everyone will calm down and talk…but that is not likely. There is a history of protests…an experience of public unrest…that underlies all these marches. The only way to stop this is for the government to compromise, the students will not. I believe that public protest can, and do, bring about change. I believe that the next generation must demand change if they want a world of peace. However these protests are not about peace, they are about money…this will not end peacefully unless the government backs down. I pray for peace, I pray for compromise, I pray for my city, I pray for my family and friends in Montreal…please let there be peace.