Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Oh, Canada?

I was walking to work this morning, enjoying the cool wind and patterns of clouds, and once again came upon a Canadian flag flying in the wind. There was enough force for that wonderful rippling sound to occur, so I stood there enjoying the texture of our flag undulating in the sky. I love our flag in flight, but I'm not entirely sure why this is. I think it is the cultural conditioning of belonging to a (developed?) country, despite some of my feelings to the contrary. I like Canada and think it is a great place to live, but I have some issues with the whole thing.

I am not a fan of nationalism, even under the guise of patriotism. When I think about saying one country is better than another, the whole thought structure seems wrong. It must be remember that the borders between countries are made by humans. Astronauts often say one of the most amazing things about seeing the Earth from space is that it has no lines on it. It seems kind of flawed that my quality of life will be better than hundreds of millions of others because I was born in one place and not another. We all think about this in terms of families, communities and cities from time to time. Try adding countries. Then the discrepancies between standards of living become vast and more and more one might realize how good they have it.

If you are reading this, you have first world problems.

First world problems can be quite severe, don't get me wrong. Additionally, depending where you are in the developed world, you might not be better off than those in developing nations. For the most part though, we've got it good. Whenever I see a puddle of water I don't think about drinking from it. Do you?


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