We haven’t got a terrible lot to be proud of lately. We have a ton of land that no one really wants to live on, a generally inept government, a weak currency, a relatively laughable military, slow technology up-take, high taxes and a less-then exemplar health care system.
Having lived in the States and seen both sides of the border, I can say with confidence that there are pros and cons to both countries. Some of Canada’s cons are particularly frustrating.
However, there are a few things we get right, and this video shows off two of them.
A group of students from Humber College, here in Ontario, built a radio, from scratch, with which they successfully contacted the International Space Station. If you watch the video, you can see reflected in that group the passionate message of the astronaut they’re talking to, one Sandra Magnus (to be fair, a pretty cool American). And you can really see what makes Canada great…
First of all, these are students. Geeky kids, with a somewhat greasy prof, who intuited their way to a unique and effective solution, using a fraction of the resources that an Ivy League school might have. Humber is not an impressive institution. But even there, approaching the bottom of our post-secondary barrel, the level of education Canada offers is vastly above-average.
Secondly, take a look around the room, and see the different, unique and un-assimilated people-groups represented there. This isn’t a classroom full of sameness. From our smallest colleges to our loftiest institutions, we are not a melting pot. Instead of a culture that demands an elimination of distinctness, we embrace it. We learn to work together with people of different backgrounds, different passions, and different beliefs. No (good) Canadian presumes superiority due to race or creed, and none of us fear the other because of our differences.
While its true that there are absolutes, and that, at the end of life, each of us is going to find out who picked the winning team, the reality is that faith means we have no proof. And the Christian faith means that we live like Christ did — not standing for injustice, certainly, but not in fear or hatred of those to whom our Truth has not been revealed, either.
There’s lots of things Canada doesn’t get right, but we can be proud of the fact that we have figured out, like the astronaut looking down at our lonely blue rock, that we’re all in this together, and we’re better off communicating and working together through peace than we are through war.
Update: Here’s another reason us Canadians can be proud of ourselves!