"Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God." - Luke 13:29
Canadians seem to take little ordinary things we do in the USA and make them cooler. They play Sting in the bank instead of Muzak. There's that whole French thing. And then that whole British thing. They have cool accents. A sense of style.
They tend not to get as worked up as we do. When you talk to them about world affairs, they seem more reasonable, more aware and more nuanced. They don't get in as many wars.
I know, I know. I am romanticizing Canada. I am sure that if I were Canadian, I would see it differently.
But one of my fantasies is that when I visit, these cool Canadians will not guess that I am a loud American visiting from Chicago but will think I am one of them.
So when I checked into the hotel in Toronto, I was dismayed to be told, "We'll be putting you on the 7th floor. And just so you know, it's the Quiet Floor. Will you be ok with that?"
So much for my wild plans to wake everyone up on my floor with raucous behavior, extreme politics and my neon plaid tourist pants. They were assigning me to lock down on the quiet floor. I'd be watching Downton Abbey. Quietly. On my computer. On mute. Just trying to fit in.
But how did they know I was a loud American? How did they see me coming?
For a little comfort, I turn to the fabulous Mavis Staples, who rocks the socks off the classic old hymn as only she can:
In Christ there is no East or West,
No North or South
Only one great love
Inside and out.
Thank you, God, for the gift of other cultures and the adventure of life in a global world. Amen.
Lillian Daniel, author of When "Spiritual But Not Religious" is Not Enough, has a chapter in the upcoming anthology, What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most. Follow her on twitter @lillianfdaniel.