Happy 4th of July to my American Friends and Neighbours

The friendship that Canada has with the United States is one that overcomes petty jealousies, comparisons, and squabbles. When someone says something is distinctly Canadian or very American they are reflecting the truth, but superficially.

Americans and Canadians are not the same. Yet in so many ways they are. I celebrate our friendship and the following quotes seem very àpropos to our relationship:

“Friendship is born of that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one!” ~ C. S. Lewis

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered. “Yes, Piglet.” “Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.” ~ A.A. Milne

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” ~ William Shakespeare

I live about 30 miles from the Windsor-Detroit border; I went to university with many Americans and count some of them as my best friends; I wish all of you a Happy 4th and let us celebrate our similarities and bask in our differences—that is what makes us both interesting!

Peace Arch Park - 26

(Photo credit: David Chilstrom)

~ Ugly Words ~

Cover of "10 Commandments of Common Sense...

Cover of 10 Commandments of Common Sense

I have notably been in a serious mood of late, and this post is a reflection of that. I am going to have to lighten up a bit, as I am depressing myself.

What are the six ugliest words in the English Language? Off the top of my head, here are my six:  starvation, violence, war, hate, cold-heartedness, and greed.

Hal Urban, author of The 10 Commandments of Common Sense has six different words. His are: selfish, egotistical, conceited, haughty, self-centred, and arrogant.

What do his six words and my six words have in common? His six words are more personality based, while mine are more far-reaching—but the thing they have in common is that his words lead to mine.

Greed has caused war. Cold-heartedness is the result of being egotistical.  Haughty leads to hate. And the list goes on.

By examining these words, by defining them, by being appalled by them, we can make strides. But first we have to recognize them for what they are. They are all part of the human condition.

I will leave you with some words from C.S. Lewis, who believes that pride is the one word we should wrestle to the ground. He said:

“Nearly all those evils in the world which people put down to selfishness are really far more the result of pride….It is pride that has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and family since the world began…The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.”

According to Urban, Lewis believes that “We can’t overcome it unless we first acknowledge it.”

Words

Words (Photo credit: sirwiseowl)

So what do you think? What are your six ugliest words? And do you concede that you are conceited?

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