Proud to be a Canadian - Canada 150
As the 150th anniversary of the formation of Canada approaches and soon passes, I find myself, despite trying to avoid the constant federal promotion, thinking about the country of my birth.
I am very fortunate to be born in Canada, as were my parents, and grandparents. Ever since I was in primary school, I have felt an immense sense of gratification for my country. It may have derived from the moment when I was standing beside my desk in school, at attention, singing along to our new national anthem. I was unaware of the history of how we became a nation, aside from what I was taught at school, and home. As I grew older, gained knowledge and experience, I became aware of what other people had to endure and the sacrifices they made for Canada to become a nation.
Still, I have an immense pride for being born in Canada.
I am proud to be born a Canadian not for the crimes against the indigenous people, the killing, the displacement, the genocide of cultures or the fact that we continue to allow such atrocities to happen, making little effort towards reparation;
I am proud to be born Canadian not because we continue to allow our natural resources to be harvested at will, without the need of refining, re-sawing, unfiltered, giving little regard to our own environment. We are told that no one will want our resources if we have the audacity of trying to create work for our citizens;
I am proud to be born a Canadian not because our politicians find it easier to blame the other 'political party' for not being on-board with their message than it is to admit they made an error due to their own self interest and greed;
I am proud to be born a Canadian not because there are those among our population who are racists, and bigots, and who think Canada is only for them and their creed, (ignoring completely the fact that they themselves were once considered immigrants. Perhaps, that is what they are afraid of).
No, I am proud to be born Canadian because
- when I talk to people who have moved here, have relocated their lives and families to avoid persecution from the wars and injustices of their home country, have proudly adopted Canada as their home, that worldwide, Canada is regarded highly as a tolerant society, and a place of natural beauty.
- it is a country that welcomes newcomers into their home to share a meal, and a warm smile.
- it is a place where you can succeed without interference (for the most part) from others.
- it is a place where you can belong and practice your religion without persecution whether I or anyone else agrees with your view.
For me, Canada is a place
- that when you are traveling, having a Canadian flag on your belongings will grant you access to hospitality usually reserved for locals.
- where Sorry is never the hardest word.
- where we can debate and still remain friends.
- where we come together as one in difficult times.
- where being polite and courteous is still 'cool'.
- of spectacular beauty, with wide open spaces and clean water.
- where the cultures of many nations can live together peacefully.
I could write for a long time on why I love being Canadian. I am extremely proud of that fact. Despite all our faults and ignorance, we are a country that at least makes an attempt to improve ourselves through a somewhat democratic political process, a country of good social values, free healthcare, paid vacations, and help for those in need. Yes, there is more to Canada than hockey, beavers, maple syrup, and donuts and I am proud of that.
Happy Canada Day 150!