What Will The World Be Like in the Future?
Sorry if this post leaves the normal beaten path for my blog. Its been a while since I posted about anything. With the turn of the new year and many things happening in my life, I have been a bit overwhelmed. This is written while I sit at home, feeling a bit ill both physically and mentally.
I’m a thinker. And a worrier. And quite possibly one of the most over-thinking people I know. I try to prepare for everything (not possible, I know) and think through as many possibilities as I can. This is about as far-reaching a thought as I can get.
Yesterday, like many other people in North America and beyond – I got together with a few friends and watched the Super Bowl. Not the greatest game, unless you’re fond of blow-outs, which I’m not. Unless it happens to be the Leafs vs the Habs and even then it gets boring when the Leafs stop all over the Habs once in a while. (That’s for my now ex-colleague Fred, the huge Habs fan who I sat beside for a good chunk of the last 5 months).
Aside from the score, the next most important thing people seem to view the Super Bowl for, is the commercials. For one event every year, many people tune in just to see them. Now in Canada, we’re not permitted to see them during the game, so we check them out online afterwards. Typically one or more causes a ruckus. This year was no different, but this year’s ruckus is so frightening in its depiction of society that I am truly worried about where ours is going.
The beautiful and talented Queen Latifah opened the festivities with a terrific rendition of ‘America the Beautiful’. I’m not American, but I love this song. I have fond memories of a young lady who sang it at one of the sporting events I participated in many years ago. Amber, if you’re out there somewhere, I still remember you getting teased about the ‘amber waves of grain,’ line.
Coca-Cola followed this rendition up with one of their own during this tv spot. That’s when all the ruckus began. For some reason, this beautifully done, multi-lingual version caused some members of society to forget their beginnings. Or perhaps, they just felt this was a good time to voice their desires for the future.
One line I found to bother me a lot (and again, I’m not American) was ‘This is America – speak English, damnit.’ Several of these languages are more native to the US than English is. I won’t even go into the comments regarding terrorists etc. due to the participation of Muslim-Americans. The impression I got from these commenters, was that no-one is welcome in the US unless they A) speak English and B) look like ‘an American’ ie. Caucasian.
The vocal minority here, in the comment sections, want to tell you that their future of their country is one that is truly the ‘melting pot’ of which I was taught in elementary school. Where everyone who wishes to live in the US must be exactly the same and think exactly the same way. I believe this would stunt one of the largest countries in the world.
I know that not all Americans think this way, because some of you elected an African-American president. Some of you whom I speak to on a fairly regular basis, albeit electronically, are not white and do not speak only English. Others are and do. All of these people are proud Americans. Why would you want to be an exclusionary society?
Here in Canada, its not all roses. There are people here who would like us to follow our neighbours’ lead and become a melting pot as well, only a Canadian one. I’m not sure what exactly they mean. I have been taught and read more about the history of our great land. This includes some native lore and the history of my culture (Japanese-Canadian) in this country as well as the French and English, Dutch, German and various other influences.
I like to think that every culture has added subtleties to our Canadian society. Every time we learn a little bit more about another culture, it adds to our ability to relate to it. To shut them all out, including the ones that were here before our ancestors were, is to turn our backs on the founders of our country.
One day, the world won’t be as divided by race/colour/language/religion/sexual orientation. We needn’t all speak one language, be the same colour, or worship the same way (or at all). We are not now, nor will be, clones of each other. We will be ourselves, kind to one another, accepting of who we all are and open to learning about other cultures. #FairyTaleOrTruth
Ask yourself, which future would you want to live in?