Friday, July 26, 2013
My apologies to readers for the recent hiatus -- Cholangitis (Google it) has that effect. Good physicians, and an astounding array of drugs, are helping. It really is amazing. In earlier times, my medicine cabinet contained one bottle of aspirin. Now I couldn't squeeze that bottle in on any of three shelfs.
There may, in fact, be too much of a reliance on drugs, and I am in sympathy with Sir Willam Osler's observation that "I would throw one-half of modern medicines out the window, except that would be bad for the birds."
But enough of personal angst -- there is enough of such angst extant in the world. As I caught up on what had transpired while I was in hospital, I was shaken by all the negatives that had surfaced: severe flooding in Alberta, ghastly train wrecks in Quebec and Spain, Egypt slowly coming apart, the ongoing hell that is Syria, and way too many crazed jihadists popping up all over. Was there anything of a more positive nature, something that would at least provide a sliver of Pandorean hope?
Then came the announcement of the birth of a child to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the arrival of Prince George swept (briefly) all other negatives aside. Media coverage was a bit over the top, but so what. The world cannot continually reside in John Bunyan's Slough of Despond.*
Mind you, some try, and various articles quickly surfaced about the uselessness of monarchy, its cost, and its anti-democratic nature. And how dare that to become a Canadian citizen one must swear loyalty to the Queen?
What gets lost in this pathetic anti-monarch shuffle is the fact that among the countries that consistently lead UN and other international indicators of human development, at least 10 -- Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Canada -- are constitutional monarchies. Moreover, in the most recent UNDP** index, six of the top ten are such monarchies.
There are a host of other reasons to maintain the monarchy, not the least of which is ongoing stability, but this is a topic for another day. For now, I leave you with the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Good to be back.
*From Bunyan's Christian allegory, the novel Pilgrim's Progress --Ed.
**United Nations Development Programme --Ed.