Sport can unite people and bring about change

In striving to win, we realize our potential and learn to work with people we may not normally associate with

Sport can unite people and bring about changeFormer South African president Nelson Mandela said, “Sport has the power to change the world.” This may seem a preposterous statement when we look at the greed, corruption and division that often makes the headlines in the world of sport. We read of doping scandals, owners not taking responsibility for the safety of their players…

Would you follow orders even when it showed a lack of compassion?

In the early '60s, Yale's professor Stanley Milgram performed an experiment that revealed some interesting observations about human behaviour

Would you follow orders even when it showed a lack of compassion?In the early 1960s, Yale psychology professor Stanley Milgram performed an experiment that revealed some interesting observations about human response. Though the result and ethics of his experiment have been questioned, his findings continue to cause us to ponder what each of us would do if we had to choose between following directions and showing…

We have power – if we’re willing to wield it

The corporate world controls politics only if voters allow it. Let's make educated choices at the ballot box

We have power – if we’re willing to wield itWatching corporate-sponsored mainstream news can be confusing and frustrating. I have great difficulty sitting through report after report about Russia tampering in U.S. elections. Why is this news? What did they stand to gain? Haven’t the Americans been tampering in elections in other countries for generations? Though millions accept the nonsensical issues that dominate the…

The same truths are part of every religious and philosophical tradition

Each of us needs to be true to our mission if we’re to be effective agents of universal change

The same truths are part of every religious and philosophical traditionReligion can provide guiding principles for a meaningful life, yet few concepts have been more divisive in human history. Seeing the tensions of the first half of the 20th century, Mohandas K. Gandhi, a deeply spiritual man, came to the following conclusion: “One should accept the faith into which one was born, but seek always…

Compassion and tenderness can overcome evil

It’s far too easy to look at others as the problem with the world. It’s much harder to see our own commonality as humans

Compassion and tenderness can overcome evilWhen we read the newspaper or watch our news feeds, we learn about people doing horrendous things to each other. If we allowed ourselves, we could become inundated with evidence of our inherent inhumanity. It then becomes very easy to conclude that evil people walk among us and that something drastic needs to be done…

Humans are not designed to stagnate

Standing still only causes us to move backward

Humans are not designed to stagnate“Do not be afraid of improving slowly. Be afraid of standing still,” popular Zen master Leo Babauta tells us. Many in our society believe that there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and once we reach it, life becomes easy. Others believe that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” We’re…

Reconciliation and healing require forward perspectives

We must embrace who we are as Canadians, the values that set us apart from the rest of the world

Reconciliation and healing require forward perspectives“Sometimes the medicine we need most comes from remembering who we were so we can reconcile it against who we wish to become,” writes Canadian poet Shane Koyczan. As we study the residential school system and its impact, it’s very important to remember that it wasn’t the fault of 21st century Canadians. It’s a part…

Compassion is at the heart of the best of humanity

Those who show the greatest compassion are among the most powerful and influential, because they’re driving change

Compassion is at the heart of the best of humanityThe Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines compassion as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with the desire to alleviate it.” What we rarely consider, however, is that compassion is a tremendous source of strength. The people who have shown the greatest compassion in our world are among the most powerful and influential. The Book of Joy is…

If I don’t want to be the problem, how do I become the solution?

It’s easy to get distracted by money, power and shallow relationships. But at our cores we know what’s right

If I don’t want to be the problem, how do I become the solution?During my rebellious teen years, I listened to an incredible band from Detroit (the Motor City) called MC5. On one of their live albums, recorded in the late 1960s, they made a statement that struck me and has never left me: “Brothers and sisters, the time has come for each and every one of you…

Dream big no matter how preposterous

Disappointment has the potential to destroy us but it can also make us great. What determines the difference?

Dream big no matter how preposterousNineteenth-century British writer Eliza Tabor said, “Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens it, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.” Disappointment is a reality in the life of every person, yet far too often we look upon it as failure. If we apply for a job and…

How to confront sex abuse in the Catholic church

If we’re to rid the world of this horrendous theft of innocence, we need to approach it the same way we approached the Holocaust

How to confront sex abuse in the Catholic churchIn the song Sympathy for the Devil, the Rolling Stones repeat several times, “Pleased to meet you. Hope you guessed my name. But what’s puzzling you is the nature of my game.” In essence, the Stones are talking about the nature of evil and our relation to it. We see it but we often don’t…

Fairness should be at the heart of electoral reform

Every argument in favour of our current flawed system is either easily rebutted or simply untrue

Fairness should be at the heart of electoral reformIn a recent address on proportional representation (PR), Guy Giorno, one of Stephen Harper’s former strategists, said, “The unassailable moral high ground we (supporters of PR) hold is the people and a result that fairly reflects their will.” This caused me to pause and reflect. I’ve long been a supporter of PR and now I…

Polarization is a myth – we just need to break down the barriers

As we interact with those who appear to be different, we realize that much more unites us than separates us

Polarization is a myth – we just need to break down the barriersAmerican actor Alan Alda recently said, “I’m not really listening unless I’m willing to be changed by the other person.” This is a powerful statement and one that could easily be misinterpreted. Alda has created a podcast called Clear + Vivid where he discusses using communication to improve understanding between people. In this context, he’s…

Follow the leader: the keys to a legendary coach’s success

Communication, trust, care, collective responsibility and pride are the cornerstones of success in sports – and in life

Follow the leader: the keys to a legendary coach’s successMike Krzyzewski said, “When a leader takes responsibility for his own actions and mistakes, he not only sets a good example, he shows a healthy respect for people on his team.” Krzyzewski, better known as Coach K, has been the men’s head basketball coach at Duke University in North Carolina since 1980. He has more…

Suffering and death have meaning … of the deepest significance

Even in the depths of suffering, there is still reason to hope for the future. Even if we are in despair today, we can embrace the joys of the past

Suffering and death have meaning … of the deepest significanceRussian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote, “It’s the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet tender joy.” It should be no surprise that the writings of Dostoyevsky had a profound influence on Viktor Frankl, the Austrian Jewish psychiatrist, as he faced life in Nazi concentration camps. Dostoyevsky endured horrendous suffering in…
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