Celebrating what we haven't achieved

Two & Out
By James Peters
March 18, 2016 - 3:07pm Updated: March 18, 2016 - 5:47pm

KAMLOOPS — I'm guessing Norm MacDonald doesn't like St. Patrick's Day.

You see, the comedian has a theory that a person's heritage, regardless of what that heritage is, is nothing to be proud of.

It's the same with nearly anything people attach to their own identity: nationality, race, gender, sexuality, et cetera.

MacDonald says they aren't achievements or accomplishments; in fact, those who are proud of those identifiers had nothing to do with acquiring them whatsoever.

It's not like building a deck or passing the bar.

He believes the reason people demonstrate their pride in identifiers is the context of people who bear those characteristics becoming subject to centuries of oppression or discrimination.

The celebrations and declarations that have followed are a pushback against that oppression.

Taken out of that context, they don't make sense - like being exceptionally proud of having brown hair, or standing six feet tall.

That's Norm MacDonald's take, at least, and it's a thought-provoking one.

But it's that last part that makes celebrations like those marking their Irish heritage on St. Patrick's Day a little more understandable.

You cannot simply take life out of its context.

We are not all born equal, or into equal circumstances.

I may not feel any need to celebrate St. Patty's Day because I was born Prussian Mennonite.

In fact, I may not feel any need to celebrate anything because I was born cranky.

Maybe Norm MacDonald was, too.

That shouldn't stop others from celebrating the characteristics that make them who they are, even if those characteristics were not choices or hard-won achievements.

Life is not easy.

For some, it's not as easy as it is for others.

If you want to celebrate your birthmark placement or eyelash length, that's just fine by me.