“I’m (not) Moving to Canada!”
Declarations like this are intended to be expressions of deepest contempt and disgust toward the views or character of a candidate and you may be tempted to echo them yourself. But regardless your political views, I offer four reasons you should hesitate to even joke about moving to Canada, even if a particularly unsavory candidate is elected.
- You won’t actually do what you say. I realize most people only say it as a joke, but I believe it is unwise to habitually threaten extreme measures you do not intend to carry out. Some parents routinely threaten to ground their children for a year and the kids eventually learn not to take what they say seriously. Think before you speak, and then let your yes be yes and your no be no.
- Canada will be worse for it. Even joking this way may reveal attitudes of selfishness and pride. In effect you’re saying you want to move to a better place because you belong with the better people. And if things don’t go your way then your solution is to take your ball and go home. Ugh, not pretty. I’m guessing Canadians would prefer that thinking stay south of their border.
- Canada’s superiority is an illusion. The idea of moving (even as a joke) is built on the premise the other place would clearly be better. I’ve never lived in Canada and am ill equipped to weigh in on its pros and cons. But when facing difficulties in our marriage, job, neighborhood or other areas of life I believe we often imagine others have it much better. Changing may at times be a net gain, but often is just a matter of trading one set of problems for another.
- God calls you to be salt and light, (Mt 5:16) not run and hide. By now I can almost hear the exasperation, “You’re taking a bit of humor way too seriously. What’s the harm in a simple joke?” Perhaps not much. But there may be significant value in giving you a quick reading on your heart for God’s mission. He calls us to engage our culture as his ambassadors of reconciliation, (2 Cor. 5:20) not hole up in a protected monastery. “But I’m so sick of the rancor and wrangling amongst candidates.” Then aim to be the opposite. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the world of life… (Ph. 2:14-16) One day all God’s people will leave the country. But he decides when and it will be much better than Canada. Till then, shine baby, shine!