Have you been to Canada? Do you know any Canadians? I am proud of my heritage, and I love the U.S., but I have a deep affection for the Canadians I know. If you’ve never visited, seriously put it on your list, and not just “it” because it’s, you know, pretty big, but at least a couple of its different provinces.
But whether you visit the hip, urban metro of Toronto or the wide open spaces of Banff, you’ll generally experience a warm, helpful welcome from whomever you meet.
Here are four exceptional Canadian practices you can learn from our friends and their home and native land.
Humor: I can’t speak for your country, but for reasons passing understanding, we take ourselves far too seriously far too often in the States. Canadians are quick to laugh at life. We’d all be better off if we did the same more often.
Humility: Canadians are as quick to laugh at themselves as they are at life. It’s a joy to spend time with a Canadian whose particularly good at something. She will defer all praise and credit to others… every time. And it’s genuine.
Goodwill: Unfortunately, we’ve also become a rather cynical lot here in the States. We tend to assume guilty until proven innocent. It’s the exact opposite in Canada. People there are generally willing to help you get what you want and where you want to go. Whereas we often expect the worst and hope for the best, Canadians expect the best and give their best in return.
Curling: I’ve written about Canada and hockey before, but if you haven’t seen curling, it’s absolutely mesmerizing. We’ll have to have our Canadian Bureau Chief, Steve Rae, tell you about his 30-day curling tour of Scotland a couple years ago. Yep, he’s a curler, and a boss one.
Today, Canada celebrates her independence, and I choose to celebrate my friendships with fine folks from Vancouver to Halifax. I am a better, kinder, funnier, humbler, goodwillier, curlier person for knowing them.
If I drank, I’d raise a Molson in your honor. I hope you’ll have one for me. Happy Canada Day!