Thoughts on Being a Canadian

I don’t want to make a point of getting too serious here on my blog. Ideally I want to keep things light and write about the adventures of writing and social media marketing. But, the events here in Canada this week that unfolded while the whole world watched, were not ideal.

These two tragic events, the deliberate targeting and murders of two young men in our military forces in Quebec and then Ottawa, by two crazed radicalized individuals defy logic, but the same can be said about a lot of events worldwide since 9/11, can’t it?

I won’t get into my thoughts about those responsible or the causes they supported in any detail. To do so would be to dive into the conversational taboos of politics and religion, and while I suspect that most people would be on board with my thoughts and opinions, I have no desire to waste my time or yours further discussing the insanity and evil that lurks in the hearts and minds of these rejects of society who thrive on being in the spotlight of social media as though it were the milk of human kindness.

I am a proud Canadian. We don’t often wave our flag for all to see, perhaps we should. We have our issues between citizens within our borders, but what country doesn’t?

We have freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and as a woman I have the freedom to attain any level of education, rank or position, or public acknowledgement that a man in my country can, if I wanted to. I don’t have to hide in the shadows or cover my face. I used to take this as a given but more and more I’ve come to realize that in many countries, such opportunities are not open to women simply because of their gender.

I am proud to wear the maple leaf when I travel and have experienced the welcoming reactions of others in the countries where I’ve gone when they’ve seen that maple leaf.

Having lived in the UK for several years, I believe that Canadians are a bit of a hybrid – part British, part American, in our thoughts and mannerisms. We “get” British humour – a lot of Americans don’t. We “get” American humour – a lot of British don’t. We spell some of our words like the British, like colour and humour and labour, but we also spell some of them like Americans do – recognize and lovable, and for the most part our pronunciations of words tend to be closer to Americans than the British. If you don’t believe me discuss dynasties, aluminum and jaquars with the Brits.

Now, to lighten this a little bit, I feel compelled to tell you that not ALL Canadians live and die for ice hockey despite what the voice over for Hockey Night in Canada might tell you. (I am a Canadian and couldn’t give a toss about it.)

And, since I know that we’re a bit of a mystery to our neighbours to our south these videos might help you to understand us:

But mostly today in light of these tragic events ,and every day, I want our friends throughout the world to know that we as Canadians thank you for your support and friendship and for reaching out to us in our time of tragedy. Thank you for crying with us, and even for making us cry this week with your words of kindness and support by reminding us that you’re there for us. In these days of turmoil and uncertainty, it is comforting to know that.

Thank you.
Photo credit: scazon via photopin cc