Last week, my brother Brian Bourke¬†was presented with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in Waterloo, Ontario. Brian’s a broadcaster: the morning newsman and news director at a KOOL FM in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. For one week each fall for 17 years, he raised money for cancer research by living on and broadcasting from atop a billboard in the community. A fun event and a nice marketing payoff for the station, but also a very sincere attempt by an individual to make a personal difference. As someone in the public eye, Brian had a unique chance to help publicize a worthy cause, but the billboard campaign was only the most showy of the various causes he’s supported in his community. What impresses me about Brian is that he makes these contributions year after year, building up a solid collection of evidence that the efforts of one person can truly make a difference.

This year, 60,000 people in Canada received Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals for their contributions to their communities and to our country. Imagine the impact of one person’s effort, magnified 60,000 times. I’m proud of my brother and of the other 59,999 people who make Canada a wonderful country.