Canada Day was yesterday. Coincidentally: I heard news about Ireland’s skyrocketing unemployment rate and saw yet another photograph of Viktor Yuschenko, the handsome leader of the Ukraine who was poisoned and lost much of his good looks earlier this decade. Ireland will rebound. Yuschenko continues to improve each year.
So what do those news snippets have to do with Canada on its birthday? Well, as I look globally, even the small events and crises in other countries remind me about how lucky I am to live in a relatively stable, wealthy democratic country. Our unemployment rates rose and then plateaued. No one is poisoning our leaders.
The banking crisis around the globe now has people looking to Canadian banks for advice. I wouldn’t put too many eggs in that basket, because our big banks have hosed themselves on occasion too. However, as much as I despise paying outrageous fees for arrogant service and the privilege of giving them my money to hold onto, I admit it would really take concerted effort to bring one of the big Canadian banks to its knees. That’s a comforting thought.
I am also heartened by the reputation Canada has on the world stage as a polite, well-mannered nation. Of course there are exceptions, but when US network television shows can get comic traction out of Canada’ politeness, you know there’s something to the global opinion.
Embarking on my entrepreneurial adventure, I strongly believe leaping before you look has many benefits and being kind and sympathetic can only take you so far when trying to get payment out of someone. Yet, I still consider myself a good Canadian: both cautious and polite.