This morning I am struggling with some very negative feelings towards the people who live in this beautiful country called Canada. Struggling...because I am just a little bit disappointed with a great many of the Canadians that I know personally. These are the people living and working in my own community, whose apathy and oblivion to what is going on in the world around them is absolutely stunning.
Having been born and raised in my earlier years in England, I have always been a little bit 'different' than the people here. Some detect a slight trace of an accent, but otherwise it isn't anything you could see visibly, or even hear. Yet people have often asked me where I am from. 'Something about you,' they will say, '...something about the way you are so animated, expressive, alive, in the moment, present, engaged....'
Are Canadians just shy? Or perhaps it is that they are too polite? Afraid to 'make waves'? Fearful to speak out in case....of what? Or maybe they are just simply disinterested? I think a better word might be disconnected, because sadly, this seems to be common in these here parts. Canadians are typically rather bland, uninteresting, and completely disengaged from the world around them...unless they are talking about beer, hockey, or Tim Horton's coffee.
I live in a small rural town just an hour north of Toronto, and have long ago given up on finding anyone here I can really talk to. Unless you want to engage in a rousing discussion about ice-fishing, snowmobiles, or the weather that is. But talk about world politics, the state of the planet, the environment, anything esoteric or controversial, and you are likely to be met with a blank stare and then a "So.....anyone want to go get a Timmy's?" I am not sure if there is something in the coffee or maybe it's the fluoride in the water, but honestly, I am beginning to get angry with these folks!
Maybe it's the fact that this week Canadians were faced with a new onslaught upon the democracy they so take for granted in the form of the new online spying bill, and to my utter shock and dimay, many did not even so much as notice, despite my many efforts to jolt them out of their stupor.
"Well if you've got nothing to hide what's the problem eh?" seems to be the general feeling amongst the lethargic and non-thinking masses in my community. Many people I spoke to hadn't even heard about it. Reading the newspaper seems to be limited to the local rags reporting on the latest bake sales and the ice conditions. The same people, when I casually threw in a mention of the Occupy movement, (I am now taking my own unofficial poll at this point), hadn't even heard of it! Dejected, I decided to further test the involvement of my Canadian friends on Facebook.
Despite many posts and pleas to share a petition not a single one of the over three hundred Canadian friends on Facebook shared the link. My friends in the Phillippines, Italy, Libya, the USA, India and Egypt did though. They also made comments, dismayed and concerned about the threats to our democracy here in Canada. Perhaps they would be shocked to realize just how much we take it for granted while they are dying for theirs, fighting a bitter fight for the very lifestyle we so casually enjoy.
Now I do not mean to paint the whole of Canada or all of Canadians with this same brush. In fact over 100,000 Canadians signed the petition to stop the online spying bill within 24 hrs - a record! It's just that not even one of my friends so much as shared it! I had hoped for a little better than that!
Maybe I am expecting too much, or maybe I need to find some new friends here in Canada. The people that I meet online from all around the globe are engaged, alive, intelligent people, always willing to share and discuss. Where are these Canadians? If you are one of them and would like to be my friend please do let me know! I would like to be yours too! Maybe we can go for a coffee...or wait...better make that a cuppa tea!
Authors Note: Here are some of the links to the events that took place this week in Canada just in case you are interested!
http://openmedia.ca/StopSpying this is the petition!