Welcome to the Wonderful World of 2010

On January 1st, as I was heading home after a couple of weeks of Christmas holidays, I was humming 1968 Louis Armstrong song, What a Wonderful World.

If you look at the news then it is hard to believe we live in a wonderful world. Deaths of our brave soldiers and recent failed attempt to blow up a plane remind us once again why we need to protect and preserve this wonderful world of ours. It is disturbing to read that even the Pope is not safe.

We have 6.6 billion people on this earth. It is hard to guess what percentage of people believes in death and destruction of human lives and property. It has to be a very small number. The vast majority of people are law abiding descent citizens of the world. My faith in human kindness is reinforced every day at work and at home. But these are the things we take for granted. We fail to appreciate the kindness because we are so busy to stop and smell the roses.

My faith in human kindness is doubly reinforced when I travel. These days travelling is not very easy. But once you embark on your journey and meet the real people like yourself you find that this world is still safe to enjoy.

I find Christmas holidays are a good time to wind up the year, bond with my family and recharge my batteries for the following year. That is exactly what I did. In the process I met some wonderful people from all over the world.

A short golfing trip to a spring like weather in Las Vegas was a good treat from the snow and cold in Canada. The flights were cheap and the hotel with golf package (including full buffet
breakfast) was a bargain. We stayed at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa. The resort is surrounded by most prestigious collection of golf courses.

The package includes golf at TPC Las Vegas. It is located in southern Nevada desert, surrounded by lush greens of manicured turf and surrounded by the Red Rock Canyon. The resort is about 20
minutes from the strip. The hotel has free shuttles to take you to the golf course and to the strip to gamble and enjoy the night life.

During our trip to Hoover Dam, I met a man from Washington, DC. We had a good conversation about our families. Our stories, our dreams and aspirations were very similar. There was no discussion about politics or religion. Whether it was at the resort, the golf course or at different casinos and theatres, people were nice to each other. It was all about being happy and healthy.

Once we returned to Canada, the realities of winter hit hard. So I took the advice of Hagar the Horrible in his cartoon strip where he says, “Sure we live in a frigid climate…and sure, winters are long and cold! The secret to surviving a Scandinavian winter is to stop complaining and start taking advantage of it!”

So that is what we did. We headed to the Sunshine Mountain Lodge in Banff for three days of skiing and snowboarding. My skiing skills haven’t improved much. I am still stuck to the easy green runs. But the snow, the mountains, the beautiful sunrise at 7000 ft, the beautiful new wing at the lodge and the wonderful people we met made it all worthwhile. The lodge and the Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard Resort are staffed by young, energetic people from Canada,
the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. It was fun having a conversation with them and listening to different accents.

So here we are, back to the realities of life. But it’s a new year. Full of new possibilities, new challenges, new opportunities and new experiences. That makes life exciting. Now you know why I was humming What a Wonderful World!

Have a great year.

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