Alright, so my last post was about the semi-dillusional state of Canadian pride. And seeing as today is the official day to celebrate it I thought I'd add my two cents into the mix.
For most people (especially N Americans) being a citizen of a country is less about choice and more about simple luck. Because of the randomness of the universal atomic structure our little bodies were well enough constructed, in the right time and the right place, so as to allow us to be born in an affluent part of the world.
So, with factoring in all the randomness, what is there to be proud of?
Canada has a great abundance of natual beauty. Amazing mountain ranges, massive lakes, prairies as far as the eye can see, it simply is wondrous. But I know I didn't make any of it, so I'm not so sure I can be proud of it.
Canada also has a reputation as a "conversational peacemaker" in the world. Although it killed its fair share of indigenous people, Canada is thought of as a nation that talks first, then talks some more, then maybe acts. As a result of that very few nations/people HATE Canada. But the thing is... I wasn't around for most of it. I didn't settle arguments with the English and the French. I didn't participate in any wars/conflicts of righteousness. I haven't even given any of the original people back their land (truth be told I've kicked my share of "natives" off of land). So again, I'm not sure what to be proud of.
Canada is renown as well for its social structures. "Free" Medical care (actually about $35 a month), free schooling, no toll-booths on roads. Canada is a Mecca of socialism. BUT where I am from (Alberta), I helped to vote in a Premier who has done his best to minimize a lot of those programs. So here I have something that my tax dollars have paid for and I can actually be proud of but, if the truth be told, I probably would have done away with (some of) it if given the chance.
Canada, or so I was told, was the second largest country in the world (behind Russia). However, since I have been roaming around the world I've found that most stats rank it at third. Shoot, I can't even be proud of the size (not that I had anything to do with that either).
So, what can I be proud of? Well, as you see I'm not really one to take credit for someone else's accomplishments so I guess I'll have to focus on my own;
I'm proud that when people hear I am Canadian they automatically think I'm nice. I'm nicer because of it.
I'm proud that I have (been taught to?) taken a neutral stance on many world issues and am willing to discuss so many subjects with so many people around the word. Rarely closing my thoughts off to anyone.
I'm proud that I have chosen my beliefs and faith from many options aound me.
I'm proud that I can eventually take my wife (and children) to Canada and I can help then enjoy a level of freedom of choice they might not have in other parts of the world.
The truth is I am proud of who I am. Being born and raised in Canada has helped me become something I might not of had I been born somewhere else.
It's that simple.