I have heard people express the opinion that the world today is the worst that it has ever been. It’s easy to believe it with what we see on the news all the time. But really, in the historical context, there are many ways in which we are much better off than our ancestors were. Sometimes I look at the things we consider normal today and I have to smirk. So, on one of these hot summer days with not much else to do, I decided to compile a list. These are my top ten reasons to celebrate life in 21st-century Canada!
10. We can travel across the ocean in a matter of hours (by getting into a machine that FLIES!), whereas a couple centuries ago it took months (by boat, BLEH).
9. They actually include a “play all” option on DVD boxsets. You just know that some people out there are sitting on their couch for hours at a time watching back-to-back episodes of the Simpsons with a bowl of chips in hand. I may or may not have done this…
8. Food comes in a bag, or a can, or a box, and we sometimes complain when it takes more than fifteen minutes to prepare a meal.
7. They cut down entire forests just so you can blow your nose in comfort. Okay, some would consider this a negative. But my point is that we live comfortably and we take it for granted, which says something about the quality of life we enjoy.
6. Movies made a couple years ago had impressive special effects at the time, but today we laugh at how primitive they were compared to the latest blockbuster. And we know we’ll probably be laughing at these movies a couple years down the road.
5. Six out of ten Canadians have some form of post-secondary education,  giving them a chance to pursue their interests and aspirations for a better life.
4. I found the above statistic with three clicks of the mouse and a simple Google search. The internet has made information more available and abundant than it has ever been in human history.
3. Today, one of the major health problems we hear about is obesity. While certainly a serious problem, it is a telling contrast from much of Western history in which it was much more likely that average people would be underfed and at risk of starvation.
2. Most Canadians have enough leisure time to pursue the arts, sports, literature, music, philosophy, bird-watching, doodling, ice sculpting, pogo jumping, or whatever hobby tickles their fancy! Some even make a living doing these things.
1. None of the things on this list would be possible without innovative minds coming up with new ideas and technologies. As a potential university student, you get to be part of that community of ideas and maybe even contribute yet another positive force for a better future.