Yesterday I spent the day at We Day Waterloo. For those of you asking “What’s a We Day?” it’s an event that is put on by the Me to We and Free The Children organizations to empower and energize youth to make a difference in the world. It encourages them to live in a manner that will leave the world a better place for having them in it. It gives them the tools and education to stand up for what is right, to fight injustices and to be socially conscious.
In Waterloo, it’s a smaller We Day….only 6000 people in The Aud in Kitchener. As I was sitting there listening to Martin Luther King III, Marc and Craig Kielburger, Chris Tse, Molly Burke, and all of the young people that spoke, I couldn’t help but think that Gracie should have been there.
3 years ago on Tuesday everyone said their final good byes to her at her funeral. As I sat there “Monkey Brain” set in. What is “Monkey Brain” you ask? Since the crash, I have a little OCD….apparently it can happen with a TBI (traumatic brain injury). Suffice it to say, for me, Monkey Brain usually involves numbers, statistics, and math.
Several times, it was mentioned that there were 6000 people in attendance. Add in guests, support staff, volunteers and auditorium staff and you get somewhere around 6500 people. So, out came the calculator.
Since October 21, 2010 (the day Grace and I were hit) there have been 6750 people killed by Impaired Drivers (1.). I use 6 people per day (2.). I wonder what We Day Waterloo would look like from Marc and Craig Kielburgers’ perspectives on stage if The Aud had been completely empty. All of those voices silenced.
And for those of you that were there, I want you to realize that approximately 20% (3.) of those 6750 victims were children under 16 years old. That works out to 1350.
So, if you were lucky enough to be in attendance at We Day Waterloo that would be the entire floor and 5 rows up the bowl. Again, how would that change the face of We Day Waterloo.
It makes me sad that 1350 Gracie’s that would have changed the world for the better will never have a voice. What makes me more sad is that number is only going to go up. We are losing 400-500 of that great generation every year. Perhaps it is time that we adults take a cue from them and step up to make the world a better place for them instead of placing all the weight of fixing it on their very small shoulders.
1. that does not include Impaired Drivers that died themselves, just their innocent victims
2. MADD says 4 per day but admits that is low. Others have quoted up to 10 per day. I use 6 because it is in the middle yet still realistic)
3. based on annual Transport Canada stats of 17-24% depending on the year. I use 20% as an average