Sticking My Nose In

When thinking about my first post after my time off for alleging healing. I had two choices. I could talk about how that healing process has been going, but after almost 2 months and not nearly enough progress, it's boring me senseless, so I can't imagine how you're feeling. Or I could set the cat among the pigeons and invite a possible flame war. Given how exasperated I've been with my existence lately, guess what I'm choosing...

And little while ago, I wrote a post for HealthCentral about health care reform and got an interesting comment on it. Someone felt that as a Canadian, I had no right to express an opinion on a US issue and felt so strongly about it that they wanted their subscription canceled. This was not a surprise - over the years I've seen commenters on Steph's blog get a little irate when they believed her Canada Day posts were a slam on Americans and more recently, a very disturbing extreme example of that opinion. That as Canadians we have no right to directly or indirectly have an opinion about anything America does.

And it's a position that puzzles me. I'm not necessarily speaking about health care reform, which rather surprisingly appears to be as divisive as the Vietnam war, but that statement. That other people in the world have no business thinking or speaking about an internal national issue.

John Donne said "no man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." Doesn't that go for nations, too?

This weekend, summer finally arrived in Toronto with extreme heat, humidity and what comes with heat and humidity during Toronto summers: smog days. Half of Toronto’s smog comes from the US, more specifically the Ohio Valley - if my lungs are affected by your pollution, do I have a right to an opinion about your environmental policy? And another example. If we didn't have the right to have an opinion about other people's internal policies, Canadian and American soldiers would not be fighting and dying in Afghanistan. What about the UN and its (often very delayed) resolutions about what went on in e.g., Rwanda? Is the very existence of the UN not predicated upon the idea of a global community offering mutual assistance and intervention to protect people against events or leaders who, shall we say, do not have the best interests of their citizens at heart?

But nevermind actual armed or political responses. Isn't any change process enriched by multiple viewpoints? Do you not have a better chance of creating a good product if you look at different models of whatever you’re trying to change and engage in a dialogue with people who have different ideas and experiences?

Or is that just me?