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…

Parents have the power to release their child’s remarkable inner gifts

The talents of some children are like buried treasure. But you can trust a parent to see these precious gifts and help unearth them

Parents have the power to release their child’s remarkable inner giftsWhen asked how important family has been on his life journey, motivational speaker Nick Vujicic replied, “It was the most important factor. I’m very thankful that they loved me, challenged me to never give up, try new things, and often gave me godly advice.” What is unique about Vujicic is that he was born without…

Life is like playing baseball

Each of us is a gift to the world and we need to work hard every day to develop these gifts

Life is like playing baseballFormer Toronto Blue Jays all-star Jesse Barfield recently tweeted, “The only person I want to be better than is the person I was yesterday.” There’s tremendous depth to this statement and it’s interesting that it came from someone who was arguably one of the best of all time to play his position. Barfield was the…

B.C. moves to embrace the essence of good government

As our country has evolved, dialogue is encouraged in education and the media, but is stymied in our highest law-making institutions

B.C. moves to embrace the essence of good government“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Though the origin of this statement is debated, its essence beautifully summarizes the ideals of our democracy and the importance of freedom of speech. While I have my opinions on certain issues, I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate…

How the philosophy of personalism brings us together

Personalism embraces the goodness in every one of us. It encourages us to become our best selves, and it requires love and respect for everyone

How the philosophy of personalism brings us togetherIt’s fascinating how certain ideas can unite all people, yet we can be so unaware of their presence. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Personalism posits ultimate reality and value in personhood – human as well as (at least for most personalists) divine. It emphasizes the significance, uniqueness and inviolability of the person, as…

Kindness should be at the heart of all relationships

Yes, it’s important to teach the core subjects. But the most important thing to teach is kindness

Kindness should be at the heart of all relationshipsFeminist writer Emma Goldman said, “No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.” No more challenging words have ever been written for educators. The relationships that educators have with students is…

Embrace the moment, regardless of the circumstances

By living lives of integrity, by doing our best despite our imperfections, we find a way to move forward

Embrace the moment, regardless of the circumstancesWhen saying goodbye to people, I’ll often add: “And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” While I’ve always been aware this phrase was giving people something significant to ponder, I didn’t know its history. It’s actually attributed to Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher. In 1994, Jon Kabat-Zinn expanded on this idea in…

The message matters: we are what we watch and listen to

We focus too much on things that really don’t matter. Life is not all about domination, money and having a particular body type

The message matters: we are what we watch and listen toIt’s a challenging time to be a man or a boy. Looking at how we’re presented in the media, are we supposed to be superheroes with unbelievable biceps, gigolos or buffoons? Are we supposed to be sports superstars, rock stars or business moguls? It’s no easier to be a woman or a girl. Is today’s…
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