The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

June 29, 2007



Just like July 4 is America's annual celebration of who they are, this is our day to celebrate our founding as a country in 1867.
And it got me to thinking...who are we?

We're young, for one thing, as countries go. We have an identity crisis, being in the shadow of the world's only true super power, the U.S.A.

We want to be like them, but we don't. At the same time, we have no choice...we're like a mosquito that lands on a huge arm, wary of being swatted away or squished.

Our current politicians are in Bush's back pocket, but the rest of us aren't.

We have in the past prided ourselves on being neutral, except when we had to join the world against Hitler.

We are insecure at times, and confused.

We're a large country geographically but inhabited by only 30 million souls, 10 per cent of the U.S. And we're a land of immigrants, then and now.

We pride ourselves on our cultural diversity, but we can't get out own aboriginal land-claims issues and aboriginal poverty problems worked out.

We have one of the highest standards of living in the world and we have a health-care system most countries envy, but it's a patch-work, underfunded system full of long waiting lists and frustration.

We live in a severe climate, super cold in winter in many parts of the country and very warm in the summer.

We're infested with mosquitoes but we have open wide skies and the most beautiful lakes on the planet.

We're so rich with resources we don't or can't develop that it's a travesty, economically.

We're so screwed up that we have two official languages, French and English, but Quebec is the most beautiful place you'd ever visit and its people are spectacular.

We have crumbling highways and potholes that swallow up SUVs whole, but you wouldn't care because of the expanse and diversity of our scenery and largely untouched nature.

There IS something about us. We don't compare on so many fronts, but hundreds of thousands of people immigrate here every year from all over the globe.

We aren't the land of economic opportunity that the U.S. is or other places, but we DO have a lot of wide-open spaces and an acceptance of other people.

We smile and we whine and we complain.

We're no better than Americans, Europeans or anyone else.

But we're us. We're a colonial country still partly attached to England, and that's our history and we're OK with that.

What I know is in my worldly travels, as long as I had a Canadian flag on my backpack, I was accepted or, at least, tolerated. Smiles came my way and invitations into houses.

Happy Birthday, Canada.