1 min

Being realistic

In her New Year’s message to the country, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean offers a pretty important bit of advice: “Be realistic.”

It’s actually probably the message that the world needs to hear right now, given that untold millions seem to be pinning their hopes on the messianic powers of the incoming American President. But closer to home, the message should be just as resounding.

The global recession is just that – global. And while yes, the Conservative government has not exactly helped this country to stay out of deficit, they also can’t shoulder the entire blame. And just as much, it’s unlikely that any party’s plans will be the panacea or magic bullet that will cure our economic woes.

Realism doesn’t preclude a certain degree of optimism that putting a number of new plans into place will be effective, but it also means that we shouldn’t just hope for the best.

The other theme of her message is that of the need for greater solidarity, and of finding new ways of working together.

“The ‘fend for yourself’ mentality has no place in an interdependent world, where the decisions of some have a profound impact on the lives of others; where our fates are inextricably linked,” Her Excellency says.

Could this be a subtle warning to Parliament that she expects them to play nice when the House returns at the end of January? Or perhaps an observation that humanity needs to smarten up if we’re actually going to face the challenges ahead – not only the economic ones, but the environmental ones as well? Either way, both bits of advice are sage, and we should heed them.