Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Love of country is like love of women – he loves her best who seeks to bestow on her the highest good. Felix Adler
Happy birthday Canada. What does it mean to love one’s country? Do we love it more because the Raptor’s won? Do we love it more when the sun is shining than when we are shoveling snow? Would we enjoy Canada Day as much if it was February 1st instead of July 1st?
Do we love our country like we love our home? Our home is ours, it is where we are king or queen of our castle. We have control, we have a say. It doesn’t matter if we bought our house yesterday, or our ancestors owned it for generations. It is ours. We have a place where we can sleep at night, raise our children, and no one can say, what are you doing here?
We can travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic Ocean and no one says, “Where’s your passport?” We belong. When we travel and encounter a fellow Canadian we have a kinship even if being Canadian is our only common ground.
Tim Horton’s created their brand on “being Canada’s coffee” connecting people to one another. We cheered when Tim Horton’s was available to our soldiers overseas because we knew how much we would love that small tie to home.
Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have. Unknown
Home is one of the words that touch our heart. We’ve all had a home, longed for home, dreamed of going home again, left home, and arrived home. Home is where the heart is. Home isn’t just a physical place, home is the place our dreams become reality.
Governments come and go, a country may go through every type of government and political system but what remains constant is the land upon which its citizens thrive, strive and live.
It is a form of territorialism that we have boundaries to our land. Not really different than lions or other animals that mark their territory. I embrace territorialism to a degree. My house is my house; I would hate to leave it for the afternoon and have to fight to get it back before preparing dinner and going to bed.
Today as we watch Canada day celebrations our hearts will swell with pride, and a tear may come to our eye. We will share this moment with fellow Canadians, those who may dream of being Canadian, and those who are visiting Canada. Fireworks will light the night sky. We will go home laughing and joking to sleep in safety.
We are blessed, and even though we may quibble over what our government does, or what other governments do, we still live in peace and plenty. As we live our lives we must do our best to make life better, socially, environmentally, economically, and politically, if we want Canada to remain what it is, a safe haven of peace and plenty.
Patriotism is love of country. But you can’t love your country without loving your countrymen and countrywomen. We don’t always have to agree, but we must empower each other, we must find common ground, we must build bridges across our differences to pursue the common good. Cory Booker
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