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Simple luck 3

One thing I can’t understand is why people are so patriotic and see themselves as superior to everyone else just because of the country they live in. I consider myself lucky because I beat the god damn odds and I happen to be born in a wealthy country. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else just because I happen to be born here. I could have just as easily ended up being born in some third world country and I could have starved to death. Judging by the number of people starving in this world, it’s more likely that I’d end up impoverished than ended up here. But how does that make me any better than any other person in this world? It’s pure and simple luck.

My buddy was at a Buffalo Sabres game last night. Buffalo was playing against Philadelphia, two cities that are both part of the USA. Some guy stands up and starts chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A”. When nobody followed his lead, he kept doing it, over and over again. I couldn’t even fathom seeing somebody at a hockey or baseball game in Canada chanting Can-a-da, Can-a-da. I think the culture is different in some countries, especially when the government and media try to infuse fanatical patriotism in its citizens. Over the course of history, there have been many instances where governments have brainwashed citizens with this type of patriotic zeal.

With everything going on in the world, I have a bit of resentment toward strong patriotism. Sure, I’m proud of my country, but I could see myself living and working in another country. Some day I’d like to be proud of every country in this world, not just the one I’m from. If people continue to see others as inferiors, this political geographical segregation that we have created for ourselves will only serve to divide the world even more.

Let’s be proud of our country but be a bit more subtle about it and avoid the arrogance. Small actions can go a long way.

3 thoughts on “Simple luck

  1. sis Oct 19,2006 1:37 pm

    I think most Canadians feel the same way — subtle patriotism without the arrogance. Doesn’t sound like Canadians are your problem!

  2. Jim Oct 19,2006 2:44 pm

    Yeah, in general most Canadians aren’t arrogant about their nationality. But out of politeness, I didn’t want to point out any specific country. There are a handful of countries I can think of that in modern history have had this high sense of patriotism. Japan, Britain, France, Germany and the Soviet Union are a few that come to mind.

    Some day the US will go back into isolationist mode and attitudes may change. The rise of China might create a sense of superiority amongst the Chinese in 20 or 30 years.

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