Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Today the world is as full of malice, stupidity, arrogance, greed, and hatred as it was yesterday. Today there are enemies to fight, lies to expose, myths to ridicule. Today there is injustice, oppression, and inequity. Today, the human race has some serious problems.

Today, however, is a day for something else.

I avoid being jingoistic. I think that the value of a country, as a society or a political entity, is not inherent to it, but comes from how it treats the people who become, in one way or another, subject to its laws and actions. The value of its natural beauty is something bestowed upon it by God - something to celebrate and be thankful for, but to avoid becoming proud about, as if we humans had anything to do with creating it.

That said, I think the country I live in, Canada, is doing pretty well.

We've created a society that is peaceful, democratic, and open-minded. We're a culture that believes that a child's opportunities should not be strictly determined by the circumstances of its birth. We believe that a person has a right to the wealth he earns, but that this right is only justified so long as he fulfills his duty to the rest of the population, especially those who have not had his luck. We believe that the value of a person's life is entirely unrelated to the value of his assets.

We can be simultaneously proud of our heritage, while still having the maturity and courage to acknowledge the evils in our history. We settle our disputes by rules and laws, and we try to carry that philosophy internationally. We see diversity - political, cultural, religious, and racial - as strength to capitalize on, not as potential treason to be feared and monitored.

It isn't perfect, it might not last forever, and at present there are people bent on tearing down its good and perpetuating its bad.

So Today is a good day for Canadians to come together as one community and celebrate that. That's something even The Proud Islamist can buy into.

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