Canadians need a good famine.

In today’s National Post:

By "famine", I do not mean those 24-hour fruit-juice-sipping adventures in group narcissism devoted to curing the problems of that continent-wide parade of dysfunction known as "Africa." No, what I have in mind is a proper food shortage of the depth and duration that drives the creative homemaker to taste test the wallpaper glue, while contemplating which of the $3,000 Labradoodles goes first into the stew pot.

"Dig deep, darling. The pup’s at the bottom."

A taste of deprivation could restore the word "crisis" to its original definition, resurrect "endurance" and "stoicism" from the vocabulary dustbin, along with the long-lost distinction between "threat" and "nuisance."

It would push back the powerful "if it saves one child" lobby, along with their toboggan helmet police, school lunch analysts, anti-bullying program directors, and playground equipment removal teams. They’d be forced to shelve plans to open the family car to random search by health department inspectors with tobacco-detecting dogs. They’d return to tending their own needs and wants, instead of regulating away those of everyone else.

My parents raised me to have concern for others, but not to control others. There are so many people who are upset about so many things that mean so little in the grand scheme of things, all bothered by what everyone else is doing. It seems to be a case of "these are my rights" (and my rights are more important than yours).

I don’t smoke, but the last time I looked smoking was perfectly legal. We take smokers’ tax dollars willingly yet we treat them like criminals.

Though don’t use pesticide, many others choose to, but my local city council seems bent on passing a law making it illegal. Again, it isn’t a crime.

Yet we seem unable to deal with actual crime and other problems like it.

Sadly, it may take an actual disaster to make people stop an realize what actually is important.It’s almost as if we aren’t experiencing actual suffering so we have to manufacture some.

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