Yesterday at work a coworker told me about the cruel reality of life in Venezuela. Although the nation is purported to be a democratic country, the reality is vastly different.  She told me about the lack of food and medication there and of the way the government controls the media, keeping its citizens in the dark as much as possible. Here in Canada we take our freedom for granted. Although many First Nations peoples deal with the struggle with poverty and fight for their rights, they are not shot for protesting (rightfully) the lack of clean drinking water, for example, or the long list of wrongs committed against them, unlike the people of Venezuela. And this is not to slight in any way the experiences of our indigenous peoples. It is simply to point out the gross human rights violations in Venezuela and around the world where the response to peaceful protest is violence. Canada has a long way to go to address the issues facing First Nations groups. Yet, I am grateful to live in a country where food, for the most part, is abundant and medical care, though not without its downfalls, is provided. Living with plenty does not give us a license to turn a blind eye to our indigenous people, nor to the people around the world living in terror as the direct result of tyranny. Today I will pray for peace and for people everywhere to have their needs met. And I will give thanks that I have the choice to be informed about what is happening here at home, and around the world.

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