What comes to your mind when you hear the word “treasure” ? A precious gem? A diamond? Gold? An expensive item in the material world? A treasure is anything , tangible or non-tangible, that is highly prized and valued. There are many non-tangible things in life to be treasured. As I grow older and realize how lucky I’ve been all my life, I find that treasures can be found in our everyday life but we may not always appreciate them. But they are every bit as precious as gold. Everyone will have a unique list of life’s little treasures, but here is my list.
- Being a citizen of a peaceful and prosperous Western country when other parts of the world are falling apart.
- The social safety net of a peaceful constitutional democracy such as Canada. The single-payer healthcare system, despite naysayers, has for the most part worked beautifully.
- The education opportunities I have been given in this country to enrich myself in many ways.
- The sunset on a beautiful August evening as I drive down the highway.
- The sunshine and breeze as I stroll through the tree-lined streets of Toronto.
- The unlimited access to books and ideas in a country where the freedom of speech is enshrined in the Constitution.
- Rule of law. Everyone is equal before and under the law without an exception.
- Being able to breathe fresh air without worrying about the health hazards of pollutants.
- A coveted passport that allows me to travel everywhere in the world.
- The career opportunities available to me based on my advanced education. Life ain’t easy but at least I am miles ahead of many others in terms of opportunities in life.
For a long time, I have felt compelled to produce such a list. The summer of 2015 has been eventful with the Syrian refugee crisis reaching epic proportions. Those of us an ocean away from the crisis can often feel helpless in the safe haven of North America. Remember, it is just an accident of birth. As I reflect on these events, I am grateful that those of us here will never experience the plight of those refugees risking their lives and even their children in a bid to reach the safe shores of distant lands, lands that will offer these 10 simple treasures that we often take for granted. How lucky are we?