As we approach Canada Day and the 150th birthday of our country, I decided to take a closer look at our national anthem and how it applies to my life.
“O Canada, our home and native land.” Canada is home to over thirty-six million people. More than 20% of these were not born in this country. Ours is a nation known for welcoming people from other lands.
In my everyday life, I can learn from this example and be warm and welcoming to everyone, not just those with common experiences. Diversity makes life more interesting.
“True patriot love.” This applies to love for our country. To me, this means to be proud of Canada and all it has to offer. Our standard of living is one many areas of the world would love to experience. I am grateful to live here.
Do I appreciate the opportunities that are present in my life or do I grumble and complain about little things that inconvenience me? The many positives far outweigh the few negatives.
“True north strong and free.” Our country offers us freedom of speech, freedom of religion and many other freedoms that are denied in other parts of the world. I never want to take these for granted.
Do I appreciate the freedoms in my life or just think of them as my right? Maybe I deny myself freedom. When I look at mistakes I’ve made in the past and decide not to risk loving others, believing in myself or having dreams for the future, I am locking myself in a self-imposed prison. This denies me the life that true freedom offers.
The word freedom also reminds me to be open and accepting of positions that are different from my own. It’s not up to me to judge anyone else based on their beliefs
“We stand on guard for thee.” As Canadians, we may be called upon to defend our country and all it stands for. I don’t have to be in the military or law enforcement to do this. I can guard its reputation by the words I speak.
O Canada was written over one hundred years ago, but its message is still relevant to my life today.