Site Map Header

Ottawa Citizen Atricles Tab

Ottawa Citizen Logo

June 28, 2013

Question:  What does Canada mean to you?

The visionary seventh Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who served in office from 1896-1911, said that the 20th century would belong to Canada. In retrospect, Laurier’s far-sighted prediction was fulfilled.

Those who live in this blessed country enjoy three distinct advantages. First, although Canada is not without its serious socio-economic problems when we consider, for example, widespread urban poverty, and the plight of the first nations peoples, nevertheless our country enjoys a high standard of living and enviable quality of life.

Second, since the Second World War, Canada has become a safe haven that has been largely spared the scourge of war and terrorism. This good fortune cannot be overestimated.

Canadians can travel freely from coast to coast without having to experience the disruption and disaster of checkpoints and conflict zones due to ethnic, political or sectarian attacks.

Third — and this feature is most promising from a spiritual point of view — Canada holds the potential for becoming a model for a diverse, but harmonious world society.

Through our common shared experience, our ethnic diversity is validating the concept of “unity in diversity,” a concept that has existed since the inception of the Bahá’í Faith in 1844. This unity will no doubt continue to be challenged.

It becomes vitally important, then, to seek and find points of cultural and religious convergence and commonality, rather than accentuating the features in our cultural mosaic that are liable to create dissension and division.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1844-1921), the son and successor of the Prophet-Founder, Bahá’u’lláh, visited Montreal in 1912, during a two-year teaching tour (1911-1913) to western Europe and North America. In his writings, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá made some remarkable predictions about the future of Canada: “The future of the Dominion of Canada, however, is very great, and the events connected with it infinitely glorious. It shall become the object of the glance of providence, and shall show forth the bounties of the All-Glorious ...

Again I repeat that the future of Canada, whether from a material or a spiritual standpoint, is very great. Day by day civilization and freedom shall increase.” Although his words have already proven true, somehow Canada’s future greatness still awaits fulfilment.  
-  Jack McLean

Printed in the The Ottawa Citizen June 28, 2013
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Home     Contact   Site Map    Web Support

© The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Ottawa, Canada