I don’t remember how long I’ve wanted to attend, but it had been a long time for sure.
Today was the day! I dressed up for the occasion and I happily went on my own. The auspicious occasion was a citizenship ceremony where 80 new Canadians from 60 different countries took the oath…
“I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.”
The master of the ceremony talked about his own experience 50 years ago becoming a citizen and what it meant to him. He spoke of language and gender equality, he spoke about our veterans and encouraged them to teach their children about the importance of honouring Remembrance Day. He spoke about our freedom and our democracy and how important it is to vote. I loved when he talked about what makes a good citizen: caring for your family, obeying the laws, volunteering, respecting cultural differences, helping your neighbour and just generally being a good person.
I watched a beautiful palette of skin tones proudly and joyfully go to the front of the room with small paper flags and big genuine smiles to collect their citizenship paper – something they had waited for years to obtain.
The gentleman beside me had been in this position a few years before and he filled me in on what they go through prior to this day; the citizenship book they had to read – the book from which the test to become a Canadian was written. The test you had to pass. The test he said most Canadians would not. With questions like “Who patrols the Canada/Alaska border?” I would not likely have passed either (he told me but I forgot already – suffice it to say I’d never even heard of them before!)
Whatever country you live in, whatever country you are from, considering taking an opportunity to:
– sing with pride your anthem
– brag about your country to others
– educate yourself/learn something new about your country
– learn from/ask others about their home country
– welcome and include diversity
– reaffirm your oath
– commit to contributing back to your country
– appreciate the gifts that you receive from your country
– vote, always vote!
Doing small, simple things to remind yourself of the big blessing you have living where you live, it’s just one more way to live Your Life, Unlimited!
Stephanie Staples, CSP* is the author of When Enlightening Strikes – Creating a Mindset for Uncommon Success, an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, and the recipient of the 2014 Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur Award for Contributions to Community. Stephanie empowers audiences & clients across North America to bring their ‘A’ game to work and to life. Stephanie has a special interest in working with and empowering nurses and healthcare providers. She happily calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home. You can get loads of complimentary resources to help with issues such as work/life balance, wellness, stress management and happiness in general, as well as find out more information about her coaching and speaking services at http://www.YourLifeUnlimited.ca.
* Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), conferred by the National Speakers Association is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform proficiency. Less than 10 percent of speakers have earned this credential and are recognized as some of the best in their fields. Stephanie was one of only five professional speakers in Canada (and the only woman) to attain this designation in 2013.