Family Day appears to be the most controversial “holiday” there is on the calendar even if the sentiment behind the day touches at the very core on what it means to be Canadian.
The first province to adopt a day to celebrate ‘the importance of families and family life to people and their communities’ was Alberta in 1990. Since then, more and more provinces have designated the third Monday in February as a holiday, though not a public one. And, because not everyone gets the day off, the arguments for and against it being a real holiday are a perennial issue around this time of year.
It is not just Canada that marks Family Day, it also occurs in some parts of the U.S. as well as Australia, South Africa, Uruguay, Thailand and Vietnam.
Most of the debate focuses on the holiday rather then the sentiments underpinning Family Day which is why we want to delve deeper here.
In recent years, there’s been widespread concern that technology and lifestyle demands are undermining traditional family values. Those include, honesty, integrity and a willingness to help others. For those worried that we have entered an era where those type of values are a scare commodity among young people, we offer an alternative viewpoint.
Last year, we launched Show a Little Heart video competition for young adults. And we discovered there’s a generation seeking ways to interact with older people and celebrate the lessons they’ve acquired. This year’s competition is expected to explore some new themes and, quite possibly, highlight some family values.
Last year’s winner called Call of the Lake by Cassidy McAuliffe centred on three generations sharing a passion for Lake Panache in Ontario and while the location offered a backdrop, the essence of the story was about the love that each shared for each other and how some values were sub-consciously passed from one generation to the next.
The winning video can be seen by clicking here.
Similarly, the video by Laura Garrett called Grandma Rhoda emphasized how much pleasure you can get by spending time with someone you love. At 92-years-old Rhoda Boland was showing no signs of slowing down mostly because of her involvement in the lives of her grandkids. She has enough energy to volunteer at the local hospital and spend a lot of the winter months driving to the local hockey rinks to watch her granddaughter and grandson play. Her childhood experiences involved having to share time with 16 siblings so she knows the importance of quality time and to make the best use of it with people you care about.
During the video Laura captures in just four words what many people too often leave unsaid when interacting with family members: “I appreciate so much”. To watch the video, click here.
The message from both videos is something to carry into this Family Day – let the people you care about, know how you feel. It may even provide us with a better understanding of what philosopher George Santayana meant when he said: “The family is one of nature’s masterpieces”.
Details on this year’s Show a Little Heart competition can be found here.
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