CFN – Happy Canada Day everyone! Hope you have had a day of relaxation and celebration. As Canadians we are usually low-key about our patriotic sentiments, but once a year we take a day to reflect on where we have been and where we are going as a nation. It is in the spirit of this collective unity that I ask you to consider the following. We are a great nation – that is clear from our standing at the level of international markers, but do we have room for improvement? I think we do. Why do I offer this?
To me, as the granddaughter of a veteran, a military daughter, the wife of a serving officer, the mother of a veteran and the sister of an RCMP officer, patriotism is an important part of life. However, I have come to realize that patriotism alone is not enough anymore, and our perspective needs to be broadened to include all nations well beyond our borders. At this intersection in our planetary history we are called upon to realize that this is one world. It’s not enough to have faith in our country, we need to have faith that includes the understanding that this planet is a fragile ecosystem and we are all interdependent. Faith is not a belief system, an ideology or a creed; it is an action and a commitment. Knowing this can be a source of deep conviction and fierce resolution. Faith is like an engine for our ability to evolve and break out of old, traditional thinking and into a better understanding of ourselves as creators and movers. It just has to be directed in the right way – with a clear motivation, an ethical and moral framework and a shared, common understanding.
My wish for you on this Canada Day is to become magnanimous, a quality which means to be noble in spirit and generous in feeling. I think Canada has room to grow in that direction.
Shirley Barr lives and works in Cornwall and is a member of the Bahá’í Community. Please contact through: firstname.lastname@example.org