He likes us…

I was at the gym when I found out Obama’s first official visit as President of the United States will be to Canada. And you can’t believe how excited I was when I heard the news.

I mean, out of the whole entire globe, the leader of the free world has chosen us. (OK, it’s a long-standing tradition that Bush ignored, but let’s put that fact on hold.)

My reaction reminded me of Sally Field’s acceptance speech at the Academy Awards. And it also made me think about how thrilled we Canadians get, when a person of celebrity south of the border ‘recognizes’ us (or even makes a paltry reference to our country in a movie or TV show). It’s silly really, but that seems to be part of our collective psyche.

And while I am glad President Obama is coming here – if for no other reason than the hope that his vision may rubs off on our leaders – I feel that my response (and I’m sure that of my fellow Canucks) is a bit over the top.

Why? Perhaps it’s because we still view ourselves as second tier. But is that so bad? I think it’s time we started accepting and even taking pride in who we are. We should become more comfortable wearing our national skin (though it may be covered in a parka for much of the year) and not look for our validation from external sources.

Maybe 2009 could be the year we stop being so internationally-insecure. (Now, what would the Americans think about that?)

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