Sunday, July 1, 2012

Canada Day Thoughts From An Unpatriotic Soul

There. I said it. I'm not very patriotic. As the years pass, July 1st - Canada Day, seems to mean less and less to me (except that it is the eve of my birthday).  Why is that?  I think it is because I tend to think more globally and how everyone on this terrestrial ball is connected, whether you live in Vancouver, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa, Nairobi, Tulsa, or Madrid.  I think about how people believe and what people dream about, what kinds of lives they want to live.  I simply don't feel like beating my chest and yelling "I AM CANADIAN!!!" with the obligatory RAWWWR. As Canadians we are not as outwardly patriotic as many countries as it is, particularly our southern neighbours (you may have heard of them - the United States of America) and that is generally regarded as a good thing.

However, I must take a couple of minutes and truly be grateful. I am grateful that I was born in Canada, that I am a Canadian.  A few things to be grateful for:

  1. I have never seen war, except on television or online.
  2. If I am ever sick, I simply go to the doctor, hospital, or clinic and I am treated - FOR FREE.
  3. Canadians are generally a polite people, a generous people.
  4. I live in a democracy (though I wouldn't be a good political observer if I didn't note that our democracy is being eroded by the current government).
  5. I live in a country which values multi-culturalism. Some people, particularly many of the older generations, have a problem with this, but Canada is a changing country, the world is coming to us, and we are the better for it.
  6. Canada is a country where same-sex marriage has been legal for years, and where laws to protect sexual identity are either in place or being put before parliament.
I'm sure there are many, many more things to be grateful for that I could think of, but those are the top ones. So on this, your 145th birthday (you don't look a day over 144), I say Happy Birthday Canada!

Mark Andrew Alward