Proud to be Canadian


The expression of love on that RCMP officer’s face is wonderful. The child he is holding in his arms is one of a group of people that broke free from a U.S. border guard and ran through the snow into Canada to seek asylum Friday, Feb. 18. The whole world should see and celebrate this photo taken by a Reuters photographer.

I lucked into this story on the CBC today. That RCMP officer with the big-hearted smile made my day, and then some. Talk about renewing one’s faith in humanity, and our “better angels.”

I think it’s entirely possible that photo could become a classic, a fortunate and powerful expression of compassion and hope that helped get the world through a dangerous, hateful time.

There are a lot of good-hearted people in the U.S. who don’t agree with the direction their great country is taking. Of that I have no doubt. They are “the people” too, and I daresay they’re in the majority. I trust they can see past fear and hate, and through unscrupulous demagogues who exploit it.

I hope they continue  to make their voices heard, individually and collectively. Now is not the time to be silent, or beaten down. And that includes the free press: they are not “the enemies of the people.” That’s what tyrants, or would-be tyrants say: they don’t want the people to find out the truth about them.

Canada is not perfect. We have fear and the hate it engenders in our midst too, as recent events have shown. But we are heading in the right direction, with a generous spirit that wants to celebrate, welcome, and nourish the capacity of human beings to live together in peace and mutual benefit. We affirm humanity.

In that respect I think it’s fair to say Canada is a timely example to the world.

That RCMP officer made me proud, again, to be Canadian.

But finally, above all, he made me proud and hopeful again to be part of the human family and a citizen of what the great Canadian philosopher Marshal McLuhan years ago called “the global village.”


This post was also partly inspired by the daily prompt word for the day, blur.










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