I remember that in 1967, our Centennial year as a nation, there was much pondering and pontificating and gnashing of teeth over defining our identity as a people.
"Who are we?" we asked.
It has been said, that as individuals we are a combination of who we think we are, who our friends think we are, who we think our friends think we are and who we actually are.
The individual who can have all these views be consistently the same is what is referred to as an integrated personality. And that is a good thing.
The same holds true for nations. Who we are is many things. We think we are nice guys and we are viewed by other countries as being nice guys. We are fair, we are reasonable and just. We don't start wars, but we back up our buddies when the need arises. We are fiscally conservative and are not risk takers.
Actually we are to Americans what Austrians are to Germans and Kiwis are to Aussies; kinder and gentler. Self-respect and self-esteem should come from the inside ourselves, both personally and nationally, not from outsiders. That said, when you have a best friend, especially one who is ten times as large and powerful, you kind of want to be well thought of. Friends like to feel appreciated by their friends.
But, the problem wiith this lies in the American personality. They just don't care about us. We know this and it bothers us cause we try so hard to be good neighbours, friends and buddies.
But the majority of them know very little about us and care even less. They know nothing of our contributions in WW I, WW II and Korea. And Ben Affleck's bullshit movie Argo is just the latest example of Americans diminishing Canadian accomplishments.
They don't know or care that we invented the telephone, insulin, the light bulb, the zipper, basketball, and God forgive us, instant mashed potatoes! Of course we also invented hockey and it drives me nuts that we define ourselves so much by a game!
Anyway, despite the truisms about self-esteem and all, its always nice to hear something nice said about us. To be acknowledged. And Tom Brokaw does exactly that in the video below.
Take a look at it and you'll be taking a look at yourself. Thanks, Tom.