It is no secret that I have posted this video before. And the fact is: I'll probably post it about a hundred more times before it's all said and done, for the simple reason that; with the exception of the version I used to see as a kid at 6 in the morning (the one where the high jumper makes his jump and the little kid kisses his baby brother, as seen below); this is probably the best version of our anthem that has ever been recorded. I literally get goosebumps every time I watch it.
And we all appreciate things in different ways, and we all hold different things close to our hearts for different reasons... But let me just give you a little example of why this country is such a wonderful place to live.
This past weekend was the culmination of Pride Week in Toronto. Let the record show that I am not a homosexual. But I really couldn't be more proud of the fact that this great city and this great country can annually play host to one of the world's largest celebrations of the LGBT community.
So I left one of the world's great cities and got in my car, listening to CBC radio (publicly funded), which was playing an endless array of fantastic Canadian musical talent. I stopped at a Tim Horton's to grab a coffee, and when I had finished, I put my paper cup in a recycling bin (you have no idea how big a deal this is until you've travelled to South America). I eventually made my way to Pinery Provincial Park and found myself in one of North America's last remaining Oak Savanna Woodlands... And I was less than 3 hours from Pride Weekend! (So yes, you can mark our Provincial Park System as yet another reason to love this country). As is the fact that we would be spending most of the next day sitting on a beach at the edge of one of Canada's Great Lakes; a water system that accounts for roughly 18% of the world's fresh surface water.
That night, we sat around a campfire, drank Steam Whistle (arguably one of the best beers in the world), and freely expressed our moral, political, and religious points of view without ever once considering that there might be any kind of reprecussions for doing so (with the exception of being told to keep the noise level down, particularly where belching is concerned). I even made a call from my cell phone to a certain South American country while sitting around the campfire!
The next day, we met some of our fellow campers. They were literally from every conceivable place on earth. We had some neighbours of East Indian descent. There were neighbours who were originally from Asia. We had Eastern Europeans and Western Europeans. People from Africa. People from Latin America... And yet here we all were: Canadians.
And proud of it.
The truth is, this was just like any other weekend in this great country of ours. But it isn't until you take a step back and actually consciously consider the things that we so often take for granted, that you begin to realize just how wonderful a place this is, and the limitless opportunity it affords us as citizens.
And when you actually take the time to stop and think about the things that make up your life in this beautiful country, you may very well come to realize what I have known for quite some time:
Canada really is the greatest country you could ever hope to live in.
Happy Canada Day...
(Fast-forward to 1:02 mark)