A Mari usque ad Mare
The motto on Canada’s coat of arms meaning “From Sea to Sea”
I am Canadian. And I consider myself fortunate to live in a remarkable country!
Our home and native land has been around a long time but only officially celebrated for the past 150 years-a young country by the standards of most nations. While much has been written, so many stories remain untold. In spite of differences among us and distances between us, we somehow managed to create a federation called Canada. We are a land shaped by geography; a diversity and blending of perspectives founded on shared values, democratic principles, and regard for the public good.
I was around for Canada’s 100th birthday and that was a party! Back then, the country seemed young, idealistic and full of hopeful exuberance. Things are not perfect in our Canada. Some people experience a disproportionate burden of disadvantage and some voices are not always heard. But I like to think we are a nation that wants life to be better for all of as. There is much that could be better but there is also much that is better.
What I love about this home of Canada are the things many of us take for granted: to walk out the door and go where you want to; to express our views freely; fresh air; clean water; the ability to vote; health care; neighbourhoods, the seasons- all of the ordinary everyday things that we take as a matter of course but which are hardly ordinary. In spite of the many challenges, especially for some, we are free. And that is a big deal.
On this our great country’s birthday I propose the following:
- Sing Oh Canada with all your heart.
- Reflect on what a great country this is and what each of us could do to make it a little bit better. Then act.
- Think of those who live beyond our borders who don’t share our good fortune and what each of us could do to make the world a little bit better. Then act.
I am posting three short YouTubes-three perspectives that look back; look within; and look beyond. For those of you who were around in 1967 you will likely recall a tune which was on most people’s lips 50 years ago. It sure was a different time. The second one is a generic panorama of the country. The third is from Amnesty International and reminds us that we are all connected through our shared humanity – including those beyond our borders. Happy Canada Day!
Bobby Gimby’s C-A-N-A-D-A
Look Beyond Borders (Amnesty International)