MOAL canada flag

Today is Canada’s birthday, and with the US as close to civil war as I think it has been since – well, the Civil War – and Europe splitting apart over Brexit and immigration, I feel particularly lucky to be Canadian.

We may not have a team at the World Cup, (but then neither do a lot of other good countries as of yesterday). We may not have the biggest army or economy, or the most billionaires. The word “Canada” does not strike fear in the hearts of foreign dictators or crime bosses. But here is what I think we do have, for which I am eternally grateful.

We have a fantastically beautiful country – the second largest in the world where, for the most part, people are not crammed in with each other. It is a country full of people who, for the most part, have access to food, shelter, education, and jobs. Those people, for the most part, don’t judge others harshly based on their race, religion, skin colour or social status. For the most part, people trying to make new lives for their families here have been warmly welcomed. Where I live, for the most part, people say “hello, how are you?” and mean it. For the most part, we don’t believe that we have to win everything all the time, or that we need guns to protect ourselves from each other.

Oh, we take our hockey seriously, but we seldom fight about it. Our politicians have their flaws, but they look bloody good compared to some of their global counterparts. We may say “Sorry” more often than we need to, but I can live with that.

I know that I won the lottery when I was born in a country like this. Today – and hereafter – I am going to spend the day practicing gratitude.

We Canadians have much to be grateful for.