In no way am I claiming that we’re perfect. There are so many issues we must seek to address. There are no laurels here upon which we might rest. But this Canada Day weekend, I am thankful to live in a country that, in principle and aim, respects and celebrates the origins, ethnicities, and cultures of others.
If national identity is defined by differentness, then the roots of self-definition depend on juxtaposition: we know who we are primarily because we know we are not ‘them.’ The limits of this course seem historically evident.
Contrarily, if love for my nation is founded on the knowledge that I am formed by my customs, traditions, and inheritance — and if I understand how indelibly these have shaped me — then I can begin to appreciate how the customs, traditions, and inheritance of others are equally vital.
Thus, inasmuch as I comprehend the importance of my cultural lineage in defining my own outlook and understanding, to celebrate my own country is to indeed celebrate the world. For we are, all of us, inhabitants of countries.