Print Edition: June 5, 2013
The Costanza wallet has got to go
Ever watch that episode of Seinfeld where George Costanza’s overstuffed wallet explodes? I am sure every one of us at some point in our lives can relate to dealing with the same problem.
I have recently been dealing with issues of a wallet that overflows with junk I don’t need. No matter what effort I make, I can’t seem to keep its contents to a minimum. My wallet manages to collect every piece of trash I will never use – receipts I can’t claim, Canadian Tire money, expired coupons, the Shoppers Optimum card, the list goes on. Recently, I dropped my wallet and everything spilled out like a knocked over recycle bin.
So, to deal with the bulging wallet I got rid of it. In its place is a rubber band that binds all my contents together. I got the idea from a friend and I thought I’d give it a try. The verdict so far? Somehow, it works quite well. In a way, it forces you to keep things to a minimum. You only carry around with you what you really need.
Most people can’t imagine living without a wallet, but it is an alternative to seriously consider.
Medical world should embrace digital record-keeping
A recent doctor’s office visit reminded me that one aspect of Canadian life lags behind in the digital age: medical records
Sharing electronic medical records promises many benefits; patients could be diagnosed quicker and more easily. Next time I walk in, they wouldn’t have to ask me what drug allergies I have, because they’d already know. Voila, time already saved.
That means more time to devote to the problem at hand or to other patients. Canada, with its infamously long wait times, could certainly benefit from that. A few saved minutes could even save lives in emergencies.
Shared medical records would make it quicker for hospital staff to diagnose emergencies. This would be especially helpful for incoherent patients.
It’s not always convenient to get to your own doctor or book an appointment in a timely fashion. This way, doctors at walk-in clinics would be able to see your medical history at the click of a button. This could allow them to make a quicker diagnoses, or possibly see a diagnoses they might have otherwise missed. Maybe you didn’t realize a past issue was related to a more recent one.
Lucky for me, my doctor’s office recently made their records digital. But so far they’re one of only a few.
Protests should be about more than just showing up
Canadian protests don’t really work. We have a number of growing social movements—March Against Monsanto, Defend Our Coast, Pride Parade, SlutWalk—aimed at bringing awareness to an important cause. These protests can have a powerful effect, both on those attending and on the public perception of an issue.
When 500 or more people showed up to Abbotsford’s first Pride Parade, I was thrilled to see the support – it was a great first step towards the city feeling more accepting towards the LGBT community. The support was great at Abbotsford’s Monsanto protest earlier in the day as well. Passionate citizens with big signs had plenty to say about the dangers of genetically modified food. But like at most protests, not everyone could agree on what exactly should change.
If protesters can’t agree on the way forward—if they don’t demand a tangible, concrete thing—then whether they’re raising awareness or not, the group is walking too slowly on an escalator going the other way.
These protests are great, but there is a danger in giving each other high fives just for coming out. If we want to change the system, the policies and the negative direction our world is headed, we need to do a much better job of agreeing on achievable goals and making them happen. Protests in Canada need to ensure those responsible actually listen.
Helping friends move need not be a big deal
In almost every sitcom, there comes a moment when a friend is moving and they need help. The other friends in the group whine and complain behind moving friend’s back about the hassle and the trouble that comes along with this apparently huge undertaking.
But is it really something to gripe about?
It would certainly become a problem if the moving friend in question never thanked, always expected a hand and moved once every two weeks. But what about a friend who is in a bind, can’t afford movers and really just needs an extra hand to put boxes in a car, take boxes out of a car and inevitably strategizing the difficult couch-through-a-door scenario.
It’s nice to know you can be there for a friend who would, without a doubt, return the favour when you had to wrap a queen size mattress around a tricky staircase. And with a thank you of pizza and beer enjoyed on a couch surrounded by boxes while enjoying a movie on a laptop, it begs the question – what are friends for if not to be there when they need you?