Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I am absolutely and unequivocally in love with my country! I well up with tears at our National anthem when we win Olympic Medals and World Hockey Championships. I wear maple leafs and red and white and today I will go to a parade and watch fireworks and I'll mean it, I won't just be there for the free entertainment!
I love this country for a multitude of reasons. I'll toss in a few that pop into my head this morning as I awaken to a sweet summer day, ready to celebrate an amazing country.
We are not perfect but we have so many positive things going on in this country, it's an easy place to love.
This country was founded by mostly peaceful means. There was no great war to gain separation from the monarchy, instead we struck a deal with our mother country, retained a connection to the British Queen that still holds and sort of simply "decided" to be. How very Canadian of us! I often wonder if having such a peaceful beginning is what led to such a peaceful attitude. There are few past resentments, and those that are there have been difficult to maintain amongst a populous who is mostly content.
I love that we have so much space, that we can choose to live in a congested city but there is so much wide open space that we certainly can alternately choose a more rural lifestyle. We are the second largest country in the world and Ontario alone is bigger than most countries in Europe.
I adore the regional differences that mean we do not ever have to leave our own country to see diversity. We can travel from the left ocean to the right and enjoy all the differences in culture in between. We can travel north to the arctic or south to the border and see how different we are from one another and even more importantly how alike we are!
I am incredibly proud that socialism is not a bad word in this country and that we are generally of the opinion that if we are to pay taxes we prefer to have them applied to health care, education, and other social services for those who cannot take care of themselves or need a hand up. We do not resent that we get a little less weekly because we know when our child falls and is hurt, we do not have to make the decision whether to take them to the emergency room based on the dollar amount in our bank account and a medical emergency will not possibly lead to our financial ruin.
I love that we don't love guns. We place them where they should be, in the hands of the military and the police. We have very little violence and whether this is because of our pervading attitude towards guns and violence or simply because we don't have guns, I'll take it!
I love that when a military plane flies low over head I don't have to usher scared children into a bunker but instead we can stand outside and talk about the military practice that is going on in an educative manner. I love that my children are this safe. I welcome immigrants to this country because I want the children from war torn countries to feel the peace my children have always known.
Conversely, I love that we beat the Americans when they attacked us in the war of 1812(sorry had to rub it in a bit),
I also love that making fun of the Prime Minister is about as patriotic as we can be and it's a lot of fun too with the current one. We get to disagree and dissent is normal and expected here. I also love that their personal lives aren't as important in their professional lives in their bid to be elected. I celebrate that religion doesn't play a great part in the election of politicians and I'm particularly proud to see an increase in the number of Canadians in politics from minority groups.
In Canada, liberal(lower case L) is not a bad word either. I celebrate that we have the inalienable right to practice our religion provided that practice doesn't infringe on the rights of other Canadians. I'm proud that we now have marriage laws that allow every adult human to have the same choice with regards to their partnerships. I'm also happy with the common law marriage laws that protect couples who choose another way.
I love Hockey and I love that we can spend our aggression on a ice rink rather than having an overwhelming urge to spend it on warfare(yes we are in Afghanistan but there is little public support for that). I am happy that the Tim Horton's Hockey Day will be in Stratford, Ontario this year and I'll be there!
I love our music! I love Burton Cummings and Blue Rodeo and Great Big Sea and Sam Roberts and Joni Mitchell and on and on and on! I rarely listen to music from other countries because we have so much from here, my iPod is likely to sprout maple leafs at any moment!
Many days I drive along in rural Ontario, green fields bordered by lush green forests, the peace they hold real and the bounty they contain plenty. I am always humbled by the magnificence of the cliffs of Newfoundland and I've find myself in awe of how very flat the prairies really are! This is an incredible country. We have untold riches, natural resources, fresh water, oceans, and most of all, amazing citizens. There is much to be proud of and today I'll wear my maple leaf pin and sing my anthem with pride and gratitude for peace and plenty.
Happy Canada Day! Here is my favourite version of the Canadian National Anthem!
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