The Country the World Forgot

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My wife read an article to me this morning that first appeared nine years ago in The Sunday Telegraph, but it is as relevant as ever today. As a Canadian, I imagine most of us who have been raised in this country are used to living under the shadow of other countries that, either through their influences abroad or their histories of conflict and action around the world, have taken places of note on the world stage, whether for good or bad. Perhaps we are happy with things this way, after all there is less general distrust towards Canadians abroad than there may be towards Americans as a result of our meek nature and desire to aid in peacekeeping efforts around the world; silent heroes in many respects.

The article read here this morning was written by Kevin Myers, someone from the UK, who salutes “…a brave and modest nation.” Give it a read if you haven’t already; it’s certainly worth the time as it’s an affirmation of Canada’s foreign policy and the attitudes of many of her inhabitants. It’s nice to hear something positive said about this country from an outside source.

It seems that Canada’s historic mission is to come to the selfless aid both of its friends and of complete strangers, and then, once the crisis is over, to be well and truly ignored. Canada is the perpetual wallflower that stands on the edge of the hall, waiting for someone to come and ask her for a dance. A fire breaks out, she risks life and limb to rescue her fellow dance-goers, and suffers serious injuries. But when the hall is repaired and the dancing resumes, there is Canada, the wallflower still, while those she once helped glamorously cavort across the floor, blithely neglecting her yet again.

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