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Warning: Sweeping Generalizations Below

A British immigrant told me recently that shortly after he moved here, he asked someone, "What are Canadians like?"

Some sort of joke was told, which I can't remember...but then the friend answered, "Canadians want to be as successful as Americans, but without the risk."

This is profound to me. I've never thought of that as something particularly Canadian, but as I mull it over, it seems to fit. And this has implications in many different areas of life. We don't like to risk in relationships, we don't risk making commitments (not even to make plans for a Friday night...), and we definitely don't like financial risk. Yet we expect our lives to mirror those south of the border, where the rewards are great but so are the risks.

The Brit went on to say that for the first several years he lived here (he's been here nearly 30, I believe), his prayer was, "Lord, don't let me be an arrogant British immigrant, where everything was better at home. And Lord, don't let me be a passive Canadian."

Hm. I am so afraid of risk. And loss. Yet I have a strong distaste for passivity, and desperately long to be more than mediocre.

Comments

Sarah said…
Beth, an article I think you'll enjoy: http://news.sympatico.msn.ca/OpEd/Cutlines/ContentPosting?newsitemid=888636c7-5658-49c1-a7db-eeb6b3a9525d&feedname=SIXDEGREES&show=True&number=5&showbyline=True&subtitle=&detect=&abc=abc&date=False
nadine said…
Once again, Beth, we must be sharing a brain. Well typed, friend.

I want to be safe without playing it safe. And I end up confusing the two.

If 2008 was my year of living a little more fearlessly, maybe 2009 will be the year for more significant risk-taking. Personally and professionally.

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