With Valentine's Day just around the corner, Canadians are preparing to be inundated with feel-good stories of love and romance. From the excitement of puppy love to heartwarming tales of soulmates finding each other despite the odds, it seems that none of us are immune to the effects of Cupid's arrow. Despite all this, a common myth still pervades that love, romance and the need for companionship fade over time, and that as we grow older, we become less interested in keeping love alive.
When I was a kid, I wasn't up on a Saturday morning watching cartoons while eating fruit loops. Instead, like many Tamil children, I was usually half asleep trying to learn the language that I first learned to speak. I didn't hate going to Tamil school because I missed out on cartoons. I think I hated going because it was a hard language to learn.
I guess one could say that my professional background makes me well qualified for this parenting job, but I must admit that I have had my fair share of humbling moments when it comes to parenting. Sometimes I have moments when I feel I rock it as a parent, and then other moments when I hang my head and know I could have handled something much better. Yes, there is certainly room for improvement.
Watching the challenges of misogyny, sexism, racism, discrimination, poverty, and unemployment play out on centre stage in the United States has heightened the awareness that the same issues are still alive and well in our own country. The impact that a prime minister or president can have on the issues we care about is more than immense.
Global health transcends boundaries. But it also transcends domains and disciplines of practice. Canada is positioned to play a strategic role as a leader on the international development stage, and this means that integrating youth leaders into global discourses, particularly relating to health, is vital.
Sometimes having a mentor can make all the difference in choosing a career path or field of study. Mentoring youth has positive impact on their development and academic achievement. Mentoring is also critical in helping youth explore and develop their interest in the fields of STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math.
When Penny's mom said last week that Ms. Oleksiak is in fact "a very typical teenager," she reminded us of something important. Ms. Oleksiak is one of many young Canadians just waiting for their opportunity to shine. If we surround them with support, they will no doubt live up to the challenge just like Ms. Oleksiak did in Rio.
Canadians have a rare and precious opportunity to influence the future functioning of our democracy, both in terms of citizen representation and the balance of power that underpins day-to-day decision-making by our national government. This is a window of opportunity that, if squandered, may not present itself again for years to come.
Numbered at 1.8 billion, the world is now home to the largest generation of young people aged 10 to 24 in its history. Having grown up in a digital era and more connected than ever before, younger generations are able to see the world's boundaries as more fluid, recognizing their shared interests and values with people around the globe.
Last month, I wrote about my frustration with how slowly Canada is moving toward reconciliation with First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples. I despaired about the bad news coming out of reservations, the streets, the jails, our women and girls, the youth suicides... and wondered if we were ever going to move from pretty words to action.