A week ago I climbed a ladder to put our Canadian flag in its bracket on the front of the house. Within a couple of days our next door neighbour installed his own standard and a flag -- bigger than ours! I wondered if it would start a trend on our street but so far we are the only ones.
I regularly think about the accident of my birth in this great country. What would my life be like if my grandparents had not taken the risk of moving to this land from the United States on one side and Britain on the other?
I have lived in relative prosperity all of my life, I have been able to practice my religion freely, and I have not been required to go to war to defend myself and my family.
I appreciate our democratic freedom. While my chosen candidates for municipal mayor, member of provincial legislature, and federal MP did not get elected, I exercized my right to vote and still feel that we enjoy "peace, order and good government."
When I watch the evening news I am impressed that the faces of reporters reflect ethnic diversity. When I walk into hospitals and nursing homes I am aware of the high level of care for the sick and the elderly. I am so glad that my daughters have the same opportunities as my son.
I consider all this to be a blessing from God that I don't take lightly. I resolve to complain less about smog alerts and mosquitoes and politicians -- not necessarily in that order.
As a proud and privileged Canadian I want to be stirred to generosity and concern for those in countries where poverty is the norm and where children forget what it is to play because of constant violence. I never want to become complacent about injustice for our First Nations. I want to live as though my nationality is cause for humble gratitude rather than smugness and false pride.
Thank you, God, for the opportunity to live in Canada. Happy Canada Day!