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Monday, July 14, 2008

Why I still want to be a Canadian

I started this blog in April of 2005, during a complicated period where my love and I were making our first stab at negotiating the immigration process. Ours is a complicated situation, though in the end, it's all about two people in love who want to be allowed to live and make a life together in Canada.

Now I am an American by birth. And there was a time that I believed in the myth that is America. I believed in the land of the free and the home of the brave. I still believe it's the home of the brave - but land of the free? Hardly.

This is not the post to rant about how many freedoms have been taken away from the average American, or the number of people we put in prison, or the disenfranchised, the homeless, the working poor, the ex-cons that will never hold a decent job, the wage slaves, the power elite, the gulf between rich and poor, the concept of economic Darwinism...this is not the time nor place for all of that.

Those are all reasons I don't want to participate in the American society anymore. Funny enough, by attempting to define myself by the ways I do not believe in the world Americans have created for themselves, I am Canadian. For Canadians do this same thing every day. In inclusiveness, not exclusiveness - by empowerment over disenfranchisement, by forgiveness equal to judgement Canada is a very different country than the US.

I know it is not a paradise, nor perfect. I know immigrants, even those with the family support I will enjoy when I come home, have a difficult time finding work and making the adjustment to the way things are done (or not done). Despite this, the fundamental DNA of Canada is of a country born out of cooperation and compromise - not one forged in war. And that spirit of finding common ground, sharing in the responsibility for all Canadians, and attempting to do the right thing despite the challenge it poses...these are all things I deeply identify with.

Besides the love I have for a Canadian woman, they are the reasons I also have a love for Canada - and why I still one day hope and pray to stand at a citizenship ceremony and become a Canadian.

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