Even I don't always agree with my opinion


Why Can’t We All Just Get Along

Posted June 22, 2008 by jim young in Lifestyle

– jim young

“It’s a lot easier to hate a country than it is to hate a person.”
                                           – Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties

God I love my country! I’ve always been a proud Canadian but I never really thought about why I’m a proud Canadian until I attended the RCMP Musical Ride at Base Borden yesterday.

Sure there are all those freedoms that we take for granted. We may not have them written down in an official creed such as our friends and families south of the border have. But they are every bit as important to us.

And there are all those rights we have, not the least of which is our right to be stupid and bigoted.

With all that may be wrong with our country, Canada is a bit like sex. Even when it’s bad – it’s still pretty good.

As the MC began to announce the opening ceremonies for the RCMP Musical Ride, I waited patiently as each segment was repeated in both of Canada’s official languages.

I don’t understand French so those portions went by as nothing more than blah, blah, blah to me.

I didn’t mind. It gave me a little more time to reflect on the significance of what was being said in the English portions.

But I wondered how many people sitting among me were offended by it. There seems to be a lot of animosity between the English Speaking and French Speaking Canadians. I wonder why that is? What’s the big deal?

I couldn’t help but think what a great and unique feature this is about Canada. We have two official languages. How cool is that?

And although I could only understand one of our two official languages, I learned in these opening ceremonies that yesterday (June 21) was National Aboriginal Day honouring the cultures of First Nation, Inuit and Metis People.

Perhaps we should have even more official languages.

In recognition of the importance of National Aboriginal Day, the Elder and the Base Commander performed a ceremonial tradition of burning tobacco while turning to face all corners of the earth – north, east, south and west.

And that was pretty cool too.

Then in came the Mounties on their black steeds – another uniquely Canadian asset – riding to music that ran the gamut from the Hockey Night in Canada Theme to Rock to Irish Jigs.

My heart was swelling with pride.

I looked around to see if I could tell if my fellow Canadians that surrounded me in the sea of people that had gathered to watch this event were feeling the same pride that I was. I saw faces of white, red, yellow and black belonging to people dressed in jeans, shorts, army fatigues, suits, uniforms and Muslim attire.

And I felt closeness to them all.

We were all there for a single common purpose – to enjoy the performance of the RCMP Musical Ride.

No matter how much we differed in our cultures and daily life, no matter how much we differed in our religious beliefs or our politics – we had at the very least this one small thing in common.

And if we have at least one small thing in common, why can’t that be a building block that we can use as a foundation to overcome all our other differences?

Then let us use that foundation to continue to build this great country we call Canada to truly live in peace and harmony, not in spite of all our differences, but because of all our difference.

– 30 –


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