Broken Bay Writers – Stories of NSW Central Coast and beyond

Scribbles on life, the universe and everything… Woy Woy, Ettalong, Umina and teh Central Coast that is!

This is the Best Place in the World!

This is the best country in the world! I have heard this statement several times in the last month or so. I have heard it said about a few countries which leads me to believe there can’t be any truth in the statement. How can more than one country be the best country in the world? What makes a country the best country in the world.

I am Canadian. I love Canada, so much so that I have a tattoo that states “made in Canada”. I decided to get this tattoo in 2002 before taking a trip to Uganda. The idea was that if something happened to me while in Uganda, they would know where to return the body. It didn’t bother me that the tattoo would be permanent because I am a patriotic Canadian. To me patriotic means a love of one’s country.

Canada has much to offer. We are known as a friendly, polite people who are quick to lend a helping hand. We are known for our multiculturalism, peacekeeping and ice hockey. We have great beer, cold weather, breathtaking mountains and amazing ski hills. We are home to the Canadian goose, the beaver, maple syrup and the most freshwater in the world.

I do love Canada, I am proud to be Canadian, but do I believe that Canada is the best country in the world? I would love to be able to say “yes”, but how can I when Canada allows the clubbing of baby seals over the head in a horrific way! To me the best country in the world would not kill an animal in such a barbaric way! Canada is an amazing place and has much to offer, but it also has it’s share of problems just like any other country.

I live in Australia. I moved to Australia to be with the man I love. Do I believe that Australia is the best country in the world? Their wine is wonderful, but Australia has to be best known for it’s sunny weather (also called drought), it’s kangaroo’s and other weird animals. I would be remiss in mentioning the deadly spiders and snakes.

Australia would also be known for it’s beaches, Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock (Uluru), beer (not so much the beer itself, but the ability to drink it), slang, vegemite sandwiches, shrimp on the barbie, the Outback, Crocodile Hunter and convicts. The people are also known to be laid back and most likely to include “G’day” and “mate” in their greeting.

Does this make “the land down under” the best country in the world? Australia has it’s issues. Among other things, the Australian Government jumped into bed with the Americans and participated in not only the Iraq war, but also in vietnam. That takes Australia out of the running for best country in my books.

I might be a little harsh here, but it seems to me that people jumping up to say “I live in the best country in the world” are being a bit pompous. What makes their country any better than other countries? Is it their country that makes them better or is it that they feel they themselves are better than people in other countries? And, what makes it “their” country in the first place. If you believe in a higher entity then you have to believe that we all came from Adam and Eve. If you believe in evolution, then you must believe that all known species are descended from a common ancestor. This means that we are all related, there is no better or worse, it shouldn’t matter what country you live in or are from.

I have done a bit of traveling in my time, but I have yet to find the best country in the world. In fact I have yet to find the best place to be in the world. I have found the best place to be at this moment in time, but nothing stays the same. The best place might be the best place today, but you can visit the same place tomorrow and have a totally different experience, Simply because it never was “the best place”, it was the best moment.

The best moment can happen any place and at any time. It is these best moments that leave us with lasting memories. Memories can take place in many countries. Which means there is no best place or country in the world, there are only best moments!

One response to “This is the Best Place in the World!

  1. Alan Brooks April 9, 2009 at 2:52 am

    I tend to agree, nationalistic fervor tends to be a feature of patriots around the world. Patriotism… the love, support and defense of one’s country, seems desirable on the surface. It can, however, be destructive. The “best country in the world” statements by governments, the press and people in general seems to permeated all of the countries I have visited and lived in. To some of those people, it may be the best. To others, not so!

    For me, the best place in the world is the one you are standing in right now. If you are standing you are alive (and probably breathing). You have an opportunity to appreaciate what is beautiful and right (in one’s opinion) around you.

    The world is a wonderful place! We divide it so devisively! I tend to agree with George Bernard Shaw’s definition of Patriotism: “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.”

    Ah… the dream of a world without boundaries!!! Perhaps, of course, this is short sighted as we would become homogenous and lose all of the cultural diversity we enjoy! Perhaps a world with boundaries that are easy to hop over 🙂

    What is the best food in the world?

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