The young Canadian boy,
A natural inquisitor,
Sitting on his grandfather’s lap asked;
“Why is history important Gramps?”
The weary body yet excited mind,
At first reeled at the question,
Posed so poignantly by one so young,
Scratching at his beard,
Looking tenderly at the boy,
“History is important for a great many reasons,
It reveals the mistakes of our past,
It broadens our understanding of what has been,
So we can work towards what must be.
Hopefully history can illuminate a path to which we can aspire.”
The young boy,
Lovingly looked into the old mans eyes,
“What did you learn from history?”
Again the old man’s mind raced,
“Well, I learned that there are times that we must do things,
We must act,
Even though such action costs us dearly.
I believe I learned that while history can be our guide.
I learned a lot of darkness in history, from the moral imperative,
Meaning that we had to act no matter the cost to our society.
It is necessary, when appropriate, for us to live in the present,
Acknowledging our past while,
Carving out a future that improves the lives of everyone.”
The boy was becoming agitated, slightly,
Mimicking the way that he had first learned the word,
“What is socialism?
The grandfather chuckled full and broad,
Not at the question, rather at the inquisitor,
“Socialism is a form of government.”
“Well if government is good, why is socialism bad?”
Again a chuckle.
“Who said that socialism is bad?”
The boy looked up,
“I hear it on the news.”
“Well, that is part of the problem then.” He replied.
“Why is that Grandpa?”
“You can’t believe everything you hear on the news.
Socialism, at its core, is a system that believes that,
The government should be the controller of the products of society,
That such control should be used to improve the lives of everyone.”
“Is Canada socialism?” The young boy asked.
“No, Canada is not socialism, but it is socialist.
We have a system of government,
That provides for its citizens,
We have healthcare and a safety net,
That takes care of those that cannot take care of themselves.”
“So socialism is good?”
“In the sense that Canada practices it, yes.
We are a socialist democracy.”
“Is that what makes us such a great country?” The boy asked.
“Yes, it is one of the reasons that Canada is such a great country,
A thriving democracy that has stood the test of time,
Though we are a young country and have had problems with unity,
We have worked through those problems, relatively peacefully,
That truth is also what makes this country so great.
It is also what will ensure our longevity as one of the greatest countries,
In the history of the world.”
“Yes,” he answered,
“For what?” The grandfather asked,
“For what you did in history to make us so great today.”
With that the five year old jumped of his lap,
Ran to the backyard and started to play,
As a single tear,
Broke from the man, who was part of the greatest generation.