What must it be like to see people killed wantonly? In 1993, in Burundi, Africa, the Tutsi tribe massacred Hutu people openly. 25,000 people were killed in the violence. Can you imagine being hunted by a mob? Many people fled, including Placide Rubabaza. He wound up in Canada. How would such an experience affect you? Would you be holding a grudge, anxious for payback. Would you see yourself as a victim mourning your loss? That has not been the experience of Rubabaza. Twenty-seven years later, he is an OB/GYN physician at a hospital in Ajax, Ontario. He also is one of the founders of the Black Physicians Association of Ontario. This husband and father of four is focused on giving back to his community.1
As we focus on whatever is admirable, Rubabaza is a good example. He overcame more hardships than most of us will ever understand. He continues to be a positive influence in his workplace and community. As Israelmore Ayivor said,
“Developing and having a positive outlook is never a coincidence; it’s a choice. You can choose to look horrible or admirable; that is no business of another person. The mind is the distillery, where all choices are brewed.”2
I want to encourage you to choose a positive outlook. No matter the problems you face, may your mind distill from them the admirable qualities of giving back to others and a cheerful attitude.
- Keith Gilligan, “‘Canada has given me amazing opportunities’: Durham doctor reflects on journey from Burundi to Canada,” DurhamRegion.com, Thursday, February 25, 2021, https://www.durhamregion.com/community-story/10336473–canada-has-given-me-amazing-opportunities-durham-doctor-reflects-on-journey-from-burundi-to-canada/
- Israelmore Ayivor, Dream Big!: See Your Bigger Picture!, https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/admirable
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.