Canada Day 2021 celebrations have become a debate, but it’s important to see past the mess. Now more than ever. I think of how Matt views a property in disrepair. He looks beyond the obvious flaws and doesn’t focus on what the homeowners didn’t do to maintain it or what they should or could have done. Instead, he imagines its future potential and gets to work making a list of ways he can fix, improve, and build on the hidden gems within.

Comparisons between a home in disrepair and the current state of our country come easy. We are still battling restrictions because of the pandemic. We are grieving and ashamed of how we mistreated our indigenous brothers and sisters both historically and even today. Sadly, hatred exists toward those who are different in religion, colour, sexual orientation and more. The list of damages inflicted on our environment and natural resources continues to grow. I could go on.

Sometimes it feels like we are going backwards instead of making progress. As a result, many are questioning if it is appropriate to celebrate our country.

Old weathered house or dwelling. Abandoned home in bad condition. Bad old trouble building with damaged roof, shabby walls and exterior. Isolated neglected property.

Some view the state of many homes and their owners in a similar light. Many homeowners are too ashamed of their houses and unsure of how anyone could find value in them to consider it worth purchasing. Instead, I invite Canadians to look at their country like Matt looks at a home that needs work. It’s important to see past the mess.

There isn’t much that scares Matt away. He can see the value in a home and envisions its potential instead of its flaws. Will it take work? Absolutely! But the return on his investment is worth it. He doesn’t sugarcoat the amount of effort required to transform damages from neglect, lack of budget or knowledge. But he doesn’t ignore the value hidden beneath either.

Matt approaches each project with optimism. He evaluates the current condition of the property, makes a list of what repairs need to be made, and estimates what they will cost in both materials and effort. Then he calculates the value of the project following solutions implementation and improvement completion. The difference is the current value of the home. And it is valuable. He helps the homeowner see the actual value in the current condition.

Let’s consider approaching Canada Day celebrations the same way. It’s good to evaluate our country in its current condition. Don’t sugarcoat the amount of effort required to transform the damages. Just like the homeowner, Canadians are guilty of neglect, lack of budget and knowledge. That doesn’t mean there isn’t value hidden beneath.

Perhaps this Canada Day, we spend some time evaluating and making lists of what needs to be repaired. Think about ideas of how you would fix it. What do we need to make that happen? What will the new improved Canada look like if we successfully implement those changes? Canada is not a lost cause. Yes, it needs work. But there is value in its current condition that deserves some celebration with a healthy dose of planning for improvement.

The words MAKE IT HAPPEN is written in a notebook near multi-colored pencils and buttons on a wooden background.

Matt knows it’s important to see past the mess. Be like Matt.