Canadians Dare to be Bold

Happy Canada Day, 2009!

Canadian flags are everywhere. Maple leafs proudly displayed on shirts, hats, painted on faces, even the flags on vehicles reserved for hockey teams have now been replaced with the national flag. Parks are filled with music, celebration, the fireworks just finished.

It’s great, yet it also seems somewhat brash . . . for a Canadian. Rather loud and attention getting behaviour . . . don’t you think?

Now don’t get me wrong. I love Canada and I proudly extend a most heartfelt and appreciative acknowledgment to this country, all Canadians, everyone who has enjoyed Canada, and all those who hold this country near and dear in their hearts. It’s just that on a whole, although Canadians are proud of their country, it’s not something that they display in such an overt manner, except for today. It’s as if Canada Day gives Canadians ‘permission’ to be bold and demonstrative.

As a communication style, Canadians tend to be more reserved. Polite, quick to apologize, somewhat humble, and not too confrontational (notice the inference?). We’re not that direct or demonstratively aggressive.

Perhaps it was a comedian I heard on CBC radio who summed it up perfectly “When we get mad, we write a letter”

When I’m in the United States, it’s common to see American flags laced throughout the residential areas. Americans are patriotically demonstrative – especially on their home turf. Canadians aren’t, unless they are traveling – then the flag comes out . . . on their luggage.

And to those Canadians living abroad, I’d like to extend a special ‘good thoughts’ your way. My most memorable Canada Day’s were when I was far away; 5 of them in France and 4 in 4 other countries. I felt a special excitement to see who else was Canadian & have that instant common bond – we’d search each other out – reminisce and appreciate. We’d dare to be boldly Canadian.

The funny thing about Canadians, we may not be demonstratively patriotic the other 364 days of the year. We may not flaunt our flag on our front lawns. We may not even remember the words to our national anthem. Yet today we can step out of our reserved mode and dare to be bold.

Happy Canada Day.