It was almost 5000 degrees (Fahrenheit or Celsius), I could not make the difference. I had a massive headache. And I was happy. This was 3 days ago. We had decided to go to Ottawa for Canada Day. I must be honest the primary motive to go there was to see, take pictures (or own a part of the souls) of William and Kate, our superstar royal couple who were there as special guests. And also as we are applying for permanent residency (and if everything is alright, citizenship) in Canada, we thought it was a good thing to know a little more the Canada Day tradition.
The whole royal part was nice, they look good, they are super trained in waving like they are supposed to, even with the heat. People think Canada is kind of cold. It’s true in winter but in summer it is strangely equatorial.
Back at Canada Day, what surprised me (and in a good way) was the promotion of multiculturalism and immigration. That was a major theme of all the speeches. And suddenly tears started coming to my eyes. Tears of joy and sadness. Joy of being in a country who welcomes strangers (for example: us) who promotes tolerance, etc… And sadness came from my memories of France.
In France, we are really proud of being the country of the Human Rights. We think French Revolution is awesome. And basically that we have been awesome for 2000 years. And as one of the biggest former colonial empire we still have a hard time accepting our multiculturalism. Instead , we control immigration in order to “keep the jobs for French people”… we promote an extended secularism by all hiding our beliefs. You cannot get a work a France if you have a distinct sign of a religion affiliation (except if it is Soccer and Catholicism). Take that freedom of religion! And as the presidential election approaches, the right wing extremists are gaining more and more popularity. And you know what? When they are going to reach the second round of the election, everyone will be shocked and we will get a massive broadcast of documentaries about nazis on TV.
That was what I was thinking about when I was in Ottawa.
And the next day we happened to see the demonstration against the visit of William and Kate in Montreal. I almost forgot about this English speakers/Canadians vs. Francophone/Québécois micro-war-debate that I don’t understand. I honestly cannot take a side. I understand the french speakers willing to make Quebec province a country but at the same time I don’t really understand what the institution/political system of this country would be. And I also understand Canada promotion multilingualism but being populated in majority by english speakers. I understand when people say Monarchy is an outdated system. And at the same time the Constitutional Monarchy is one the most stable system in place in the World. And I think it is kind of nice to have kept this tradition.
I thought about it during the whole weekend. And I honestly, here is what I feel: I am happy to live in Montreal. I think it is awesome to flip between english and french during discussions. And I feel good in a place where people are growing in an identity instead of being stuck in hip and old “we invented the Human Rights, so there” system.
I am looking for an identity and what makes me feel good here is that I am not alone.
Maybe “looking for an identity” is not right, let me rephrase: I want to grow.
This is one of the most important value I am working on now: growth.
I am reading 5 Minds for the future by Howard Gardner (thanks @markosul for the recommendation). I’ve just read the first mind which is described as the disciplined mind. The disciplined mind differentiates from the others by learning how to learn and not just learning. Mark twitter-psychoanalyzed me a couple of months ago and told me I was the first mind. Good job, I feel fine being the disciplined mind.
You see, growth for me is not just about learning, it’s about learning the process, to analyze and to be able to comprehend what is behind. In high school I loved History classes but I got very bad grades because I couldn’t remember the dates. Others didn’t have any interest but were really “good” because they could remember all the dates… I thought it was unfair, I still think so but now, I don’t care as much. I don’t care because the important is not the grades, it’s not the dates, it’s not the names, It’s to understand why.
In growth we leave stuff behind, we are fascinated by the splendor of what is to come even when we don’t perceive what it is… I love that.
Let’s grow my friends.