Thursday, July 1, 2010

Vasudhaiv Kutumbikam (Happy Canada Day)

When people start getting all "my country's the best," "this is the best country to live in," "God save *this country,*" I get bit uncomfortable.

Today is Canada Day. It's awfully close to the 4th of July, which as everybody knows is "America Day." And it's the day that Canada celebrates its birthday, which happened only 143 years ago.

I subscribe to the belief that the world is one family. In sanskrit, that's "Vasudhaiv Kutumbikam." I'm not sure how I got that - maybe because my parents adopted a child, they took in people for holidays that didn't have other places to go; maybe it's that I lived in an ashram where that was the motto; maybe because I travelled a lot when I was younger and made lots of friends from other countries? I don't know.

But what it means for me is I don't like to say this is the best place. It's the place. It's the place I live, this space we've agreed to call Canada. I'm grateful for a lot of things I have here in my little life in Canada. Today something kind of cool happened. I actually saw the Queen of Canada. She's also the Queen of England and some other places, but for the first time in my life, I saw the Queen in person. Up close even. It was just for a few seconds, but it was pretty moving.

That woman's face is on all of my money. She just may have the most published face of all people in the world, and she's a woman. I was moved when she went by.

In any case, while we're celebrating Canada's birthday, I'm reminded that I'm connected to a whole planet, not just this country. It's not the best. It's one of many. Like loving one's children, there's no better kid, they're all loveable. Canada is a loveable country for sure.

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