FACE TO FACE: What is great about Canada on Canada Day?
Canada Day: a time to postpone our political palaver and reflect on what it is about Canada that gives us goose bumps.
K.D. Lang singing "Hallelujah" at the 2010 Olympic opening ceremonies? Oh yeah.
Sid the Kid's golden goal? You bet.
The 1972 Canada/Soviet hockey series, the spirit of Terry Fox, the red serge of the RCMP, the rubber face of Jim Carrey and the platinum pipes of Michael Bublé and Sarah McLachlan? All moments and people that make the hair stand up on the back of our proud Canadian necks.
But past such moments of cultural pride, what is it about being Canadian that gives us goose bumps? Knowing that my list will not be comprehensive and certainly differ from yours, here goes...
When Jean Chrétien announced that Canada would not be participating in the "coalition of the willing" in Iraq and I realized that Canadians quietly but almost unanimously supported the decision? Goose bumps.
Remembrance Days, so dignified and respectful - remembrance with an anti-war tinge, focused on those who went before rather than tawdry displays of the glory of war? Goose bumps.
Our Canadian peacekeeping legacy and international perspective; instead of taking sides, taking the international side. A Canadian sense of non-exceptionalism, which gives us our perspective and allows us to accept and empathize with others? Goose bumps.
Watching the moral contortion of Americans resisting same-sex marriage, agonizing over an obvious decision we Canadians made with little fuss, and how grown-up Canadians appear in comparison? Goose bumps.
Unanimous support for refugees, abortion rights, multiculturalism, French immersion, support that shows the unshakeable tolerance of Canadians? Goose bumps.
Being a citizen of a country whose citizens are mocked as nice? Goose bumps.
Some believe that our quiet Canadianism indicates a lack of commitment or patriotism. In fact, the opposite is true. Canadians share a collective, strong, Atticus Finch personality. Huge goose bumps.
So, how will I spend Canada Day this year? Probably as a quiet Canadian, tolerantly and empathetically walking my dogma at Rocky Point Park. In goose poop.
Face to Face columnist Jim Nelson is a retired Tri-City teacher and principal who lives in Port Moody. He has contributed a number of columns on education-related issues to The Tri-City News.