Maybe this is what this old world needs right now, an extra hour for mankind to reflect on what’s going on. There seem to be too many people who think that they, their religion, their culture, their language are superior to others.
The Ku Klux Klan, which claimed to be Chistian and whose members attended church regularly, hung African Americans. Radical Muslims beheaded non-Muslims. Some of our own ancestors, believers in God, burned hundreds of mostly women at the stake, both in Europe and America, convinced they were witches.
We may think we have become more civilized as time passed, but it was not long ago in our own province of Quebec that women received the right to vote. I can remember vividly when the first woman was elected president of a Quebec farm organization. Even today, most women are paid less than their male counterparts.
Over recent years, we have witnessed some of our churches and governments admit to, and apologize for, atrocities against Indigenous populations of North America. In our own country which has in the past been declared the most desirable country in the world to move to, we see some governments declare some languages inferior to others, some people not allowed to express their chosen religion or even work while wearing sacred clothing based on their religion. When we turn on the TV or radio, we are bombarded with wars killing thousands of innocent civilians, women and children even in hospitals. Blockades on the basics of life such as food and water have been used as weapons of war.
We have been both lucky and cooperative to live in a part of the world where people from dozens of different cultures, who speak many different languages, who practice many different religions, have a dozen different skin tones, and we have learned to adopt different chosen languages, enjoy different foods, cultures, and music. Maybe it’s the beautiful place where we live or maybe its because we WANT to get along.
So what about this twenty-fifth hour? In the spring of 1918, Canada introduced Daylight savings time. Canadian farmers were asked to produce more food to help feed Europe because WW1 disrupted food production in Europe. By moving the clock ahead in the spring when cropping was getting underway, the farmers might get up earlier and plant more wheat, milk a few more cows, feed a few more pigs, etc.. Once the crops were harvested in the fall, the clocks could be moved back an hour to again start standard time. For most people today it just gives them an extra hour to rest. The farm animals are the most affected. They don’t have a digital alarm clock but have a built-in clock that works with the sun. If the farmer isn’t in the barn at milking time, which the cow calculates herself, then she is very upset and is quite vocal for that hour that she thinks that the farmer slept in. Animals are used to being fed at the exact same time every day. Many animal farmers switch time gradually over a week to give the animals a few days to adjust to the time change.
What do the rest of us do with that twenty-fifth hour? Maybe we should use it to think about what is wrong with our world? Why can’t we accept that not all people speak the same language, practice the same religion, come in different colors, practice different cultures, some are male and some are female, and forgive and enjoy our differences? Maybe we should take that extra hour to talk to and get to know our neighbour instead of complaining to council or paying a lawyer to send a letter. Most of the mental stress is started by not spending time talking to friends or friends that you haven’t met yet!
This year, that twenty-fifth hour comes on the fifth of November; just a few days before Nov. 11, which is another day to do some deep thinking. The sad part about ALL these wars is, the person who starts them thinks he’s right. AND the other side thinks that they are RIGHT. The result is that thousands of people die and there are billions of dollars worth of destruction.
Chris Judd is a farmer in Clarendon on land that has been in his family for generations. email@example.com
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