Canadians are proud of their country and its many achievements, as could be seen Saturday when Canada played its final game in the Women’s World Cup of soccer.
Yet at the same time, there is a sense of unease in the midst of 2015, with the economy sluggish, and the future uncertain for many people and businesses.
There is also a federal election looming, and it is very unclear what the final result of that will be. It could be a minority government, or less likely, a majority government — and any one of the three main parties has a chance to win.
Nonetheless these are simply moments that will pass.
On this occasion, it’s fun to wrap ourselves in the Canadian flag and wrap ourselves in our Canadian identity, whatever it may mean to us. It’s fine to celebrate some of the symbols that stand for Canada and Canadians, and play street hockey, eat poutine, drink beer and crank up Anne Murray on the ghetto blaster.
When we hear the strains of O Canada, or when we chant “Go Canada Go,” there’s a temptation to think all the while, with swelled hearts, how Canada is the greatest country there is. That may be true, but Canada doesn’t equal greatness simply on principle. It’s all of us together and each of us individually who make it so, and must always make it so.
Canada Day, we think, is meant to inspire pride – pride in our country, in our flag, and in who we are. Are we proud to be Canadians? We should be. Most anywhere we look, from coast to coast to coast, and especially close to home, we should be able to find sources of pride. But if we don’t see, at the same time, things that we wish were different and ways that Canada can be better, then we aren’t looking closely enough.
We can salute the flag, and at the same time believe that it will one day stand for an even greater Canada.
Let’s cheer and chant, yet not be afraid to ask, at the same time, where we are going, and where we wish to go.