Canada’s Secret

Canada’s Secret

June 7, 2019

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It was chaos.

There was screaming in the streets. People on top of cars. Music was blaring.

Toronto was on fire.

Well, there wasn’t any fire, per se.

And no one was arrested.

Nobody was injured.

It was kind, orderly chaos.

And why was the madness so…polite?

“We’re nice,” explained one of the rioters.

Put this scene outside an arena after, say, a Champions League match and there’d probably be injuries.

Put this scene outside, say, Philadelphia and there’d probably be arrests.

But put it in Toronto and there are just a bunch of happy people having respectful fun.

How can that be? What’s Canada’s secret?

The first answer would be the default answer: Everyone in Canada is nice. 

That doesn’t make sense, though. How can 37 million people all be nice?

There are only 8 million people in New York City, and overall the city wouldn’t be classified as “nice”. How can four times that number all have such a good reputation?

Maybe it’s the nature of Canada’s European settlers. Their colonists supposedly were deferential (as opposed to the feisty U.S. colonists).

Maybe it’s the cold weather. If it’s cold and your car breaks down, you’re in big trouble if the next person down the road doesn’t help. So people help.

But I think philosopher/marketer Seth Godin explained it the best when he said, “People like us do things like this.”

Somewhere along the line, Canada decided, “We’re going to be nice.” Once that was decided, it informs everything they do.

“People like us are kind to others.”

“People like us are respectful.”

“People like us don’t set cars on fire after winning Game 1.”

The mindset comes first.

Once that’s determined, the behavior just follows.

People like us do things like this.

Anyone (or any country) can have a brand new, sustainable life.

All we have to do if figure out the first part.


My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.