I would like to wholeheartedly thank Alec Roberts and Ladd Johnson for responding, each in their own way, to my commentary on Mr. Johnson’s recent piece about Canada’s Olympic performance.

I have the utmost respect for both of these gentlemen, having worked with each of them on several occasions with the Québec Art Company. I think what this whole three way discussion underscores, is just how much our two countries are beginning to converge with one another at many levels.

For over a century, more civic-minded people such as Mr. Johnson have chosen to settle north of the 49th parallel, precisely because Canada exudes a sort of quiet and humbly self-effacing form of nationhood. This is in contrast with America’s go-getter kind of individualism, which, taken to extremes, seems to evoke the proverbial ‘Ugly American’ syndrome, of which Mr. Johnson seems to be somewhat self-conscious.

Canadians of a more go-getter kind of stripe, however, have traditionally felt compelled, and still do, to go to America to find fame and fortune, precisely because they feel that Canada isn’t pro-business enough, and doesn’t cultivate enough individual initiative in its citizens.

We now find ourselves with a Canadian government which is trying to be more American, and an American government trying to be more Canadian!!! (Witness President Obama’s valiant attempts at health care reform, and our government’s health care cutbacks).

The truth is, we’ll probably end up meeting each other halfway somewhere, in this emerging era of continentalism, which is part of a burgeoning move towards global unity.

I found it heart-warming that Mr. Johnson said that he was ‘Canadian by choice’, and that he would put our flag on his backpack when he travels as opposed to that of his country of birth. I, on the other hand, see things differently: My backpack already has two flags on it, a Canadian maple leaf and a Québec Fleur de Lys. And I think I have a good mind to go into old Québec to see if any gift shop has got the moxy to be selling Stars and Stripes sew on patches, because I think I want to buy one and sew it onto my back pack and show it off proudly when I travel next time!!!

And by the way, I don’t think Mr. Johnson should in any way be ashamed of doing the same. His country of birth, for all of its shortcomings, still remains the ultimate beacon of liberty, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, not to mention faith in a Supreme Being. America is leading the way towards a world where one day, most likely all men, women and children will live free.
This will most likely come at great cost to humanity in loss of life, limb, property, and the despoiling of God’s creation. However, it will happen, and when it does, well, there is already a World Anthem already composed to herald its arrival.

And guess what? It was composed by a nice, humble, self-effacing Canadian of Italian origin, who achieved a certain amount of fame and fortune as a rock star, not only here in Canada, but in America!!!!

His name is Frank Marino, and his band was called Mahogany Rush. In 1977 they put out an album entitled simply ‘World Anthem’. Herewith are the lyrics:

Now we stand united and
We pledge eternal brotherhood,
Now we sing as one and bring
Our hearts to all that’s good.
For all those who tried,
Fought, and bravely died,
Let their fight not be in vain!
Come sing in freedom’s name!
Now we’re marching undivided
Taking strength in unity,
Now we hold to peace on earth
That all men may be free.
We shall see no more,
Hunger, hate, and war,
God we pledge our love to Thee!…to Thee!

So, in closing, I don’t think that it really matters who wins the most medals, gold or otherwise. Because ultimately, we are all one in the Spirit, and born of the Light, and born to bear witness to the Light. And such matters transcend all notions nationhood, flags, or who, if anybody, truly ‘owns the Podium’. The only entity who ultimately merits to be exalted to such lofty heights already reigns on High. And Thine is Kingdom the Power, and the Glory, for ever, and ever. Amen.

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