How to rise to meet – and conquer – the challenges of life

It’s often not the most talented people who become very successful, it’s the people who know how to deal with adversity

How to rise to meet – and conquer – the challenges of lifeSelf-help author Napoleon Hill loved to tell the story of how his grandfather would let a few oak trees grow in the middle of his fields. He believed that exposing them to unsheltered winds resulted in stronger trees and thus more durable wood for the wagon wheels he would build. The same can be said…

Bring out the best in others by bringing out the best in yourself

The desire to love and serve others is innate in the human spirit. And those traits can help us accomplish great things as a society

Bring out the best in others by bringing out the best in yourself“You get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want,” said writer and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. There’s tremendous depth to this statement and as many interpretations as there are people on the planet. It shines in direct contrast to the ideal of the rugged individualist so…

There is no ‘us’ or ‘them. Polarization is a myth we can escape

There is only a diverse and beautiful ‘we:’ we can be confident we’ll find the answers we’re looking for as we move forward together

There is no ‘us’ or ‘them. Polarization is a myth we can escapeWe live in a time of great polarization – but there is a way out. While the post-Second World War era promised prosperity to all, in recent years we’ve seen a decline in real wages for the common person, exponential increases in salary for the heads of large corporations, and government bailouts of businesses deemed…

How consumers can leverage change, even in the face of tragedy

The extraction and black-market sale of gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten (used in our cellphones and other electronics) fuel the war in the DRC

How consumers can leverage change, even in the face of tragedyAs the Christmas season approaches, it’s important to be aware of the power we hold in how we spend our money. As consumers, we invest in products we believe will serve us best. Companies may try to hide information about their products but eventually the truth comes out. Consumer advocacy is powerful in a free-market…

The route to happiness and success runs through dedication

Putting persistent effort into learning a particular skill is much easier to do when we love what we’re doing

The route to happiness and success runs through dedication“People don’t rise from nothing. … It’s only by asking where they are from that we unravel the logic behind who succeeds and who doesn’t,” journalist and author Malcolm Gladwell tells us. This is a powerful notion. How did I, for example, become a writer? Was I born with natural abilities? Is it something I…

Why dissent and respect must always go hand in hand

We must avoid using prejudicial labels against those who express opinions we may disagree with

Why dissent and respect must always go hand in hand“Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship,” said the great spiritual leader Baha’u’llah. These are certainly high ideals for any society or institution. While we’re making progress, we still have a long way to go.…

A spirit of hope shines through tragedy in the Congo

In a male-dominated, corrupt and violent political climate, Congolese women stand together to be heard as they change their country from within

A spirit of hope shines through tragedy in the CongoCivil war has been going on since the mid-1990s in the Congolese region and as many as six million people may have died in the conflict. The rape of women, children and even men is common. The United Nations has a peacekeeping force on the ground and foreign aid workers are present. International consumer advocacy…

How to avoid tyrants claiming the highest government offices

The NDP's 'confidence and supply agreement' with the Green Party in B.C. shows us how we can avoid a Trump triumph in Canada

How to avoid tyrants claiming the highest government officesThe election of Donald Trump and the political circus that has resulted has many scratching their heads. What real impact will the Trump government have on the United States? Could a Trump be elected in Canada? If so, what impact would that have? Due to the design of the American government, Trump will likely achieve…

Raphael Lemkin: the man who coined the word genocide

Lemkin lobbied tirelessly for the United Nations to adopt a definition of the word genocide

Raphael Lemkin: the man who coined the word genocideI recently asked my Grade 12 students if Raphael Lemkin, the man who coined the term “genocide”, was a great man. What I got in response from my students was quite thought provoking. Everyone seemed to agree that Lemkin was a noble man with a noble cause. He was a Polish Jew, born in 1900.…

Washing away the poisons of the human condition

Seven fundamental principles that all of mankind’s life-giving philosophies and religions can agree on

Washing away the poisons of the human conditionBuddhism tells us there are three poisons: greed, hatred and delusion. Studying history and the world around us, we can see that most of our problems are rooted in these evils. It is also interesting to note how they build off of each other. Believing that satisfying greed is good for anyone is delusional. Unchecked…

Break free from the digital echo chamber shaping your perspective

Only by broadening our perspectives and asking questions can we understand the world and its diverse people

Break free from the digital echo chamber shaping your perspectiveIn his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl (writing at a time when “man” meant “a person”) tells us, “There are two races of men in the world, but only these two – the ‘race’ of decent men and the ‘race’ of indecent men. … No group consists entirely of decent or indecent people.”…

All I’m asking is for a little respect

People who are kind and compassionate are happier and healthier. And doing good for others has a ripple effect throughout society

All I’m asking is for a little respectRadio personality and motivational speaker Earl Nightingale said, “Treat every person as the most important person on Earth.” This may seem counterintuitive. Doesn’t it make sense to only treat people well if they have something to offer us? Why would I treat someone with respect if there’s nothing in it for me? It’s true that…

Facing up to tragedy and injustice is the first step to healing

What if your children were taken to a place far away where they would cry themselves to sleep every night?

Facing up to tragedy and injustice is the first step to healing“I am only one, but I am still one,” Helen Keller said. “I cannot do everything, but I can still do something.” In 2008, the government of Canada created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the residential school system in Canada and to give recommendations for moving forward as a nation. The commission’s findings,…

Committed citizens can change the world

While Colin Kaepernick still doesn't have a job in the NFL, history suggests his protest for minority rights will ultimately be successful

Committed citizens can change the world“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has,” said anthropologist Margaret Mead. History shows the tremendous power and depth of Mead’s words. All advances in human rights have resulted from a small group of people who had the courage to take a…

Hasty conclusions about the past can result in lost opportunities

Monuments often reveal important stories, but can gloss over details. Unless we examine the facts closely, we can end up with a sanitized view of history

Hasty conclusions about the past can result in lost opportunities“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius said. We study history in part to understand the mistakes made in the past so we don’t repeat them. If we can truly learn…