Fall of the Berlin Wall was just a starting point

We can never forget the love of freedom and the demand for the respect of the rights of each individual that brought about its fall

Fall of the Berlin Wall was just a starting pointNov. 9 marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  This was most significant global event of my lifetime (I was born in 1962) and it’s worth remembering for many reasons. First, it’s significant to note why the wall fell. It simply couldn’t withstand the human desire for freedom. Throughout the communist…

Which inner wolf will you feed – good or evil?

Amazing people are all around us. In fact, they live within each of us. We simply need to pay attention to them

Which inner wolf will you feed – good or evil?Not long ago in my Social Justice 12 class, we were discussing a particular genocide when one of my students drew our attention to the Cherokee legend of The Tale of the Two Wolves. In this story, a child who was wronged comes to his grandfather for advice. The elder tells him that in every…

The joy of being multilingual

Studies consistently show that being multilingual is good for brain health and development in children and adults

The joy of being multilingualEnglish is a dominant language in the modern world. It is the language of international business and popular culture. People around the world want to learn English. Many English speakers, in fact, feel no need to study other languages. And even English speakers who travel a great deal often get by without needing to learn another…

Imagine the future to find meaning in your suffering

You must first learn to respond positively to negative situations – embrace your willpower

Imagine the future to find meaning in your sufferingIt’s said that successful people aren’t those without problems, they’re simply those who deal effectively with their problems. This is an easy claim to make but what does it really mean? Stephen Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, tells us that between stimulus and response there’s a gap and it’s…

Learn to follow your conscience to find faith and love

As religions evolve, they take on social aspects, developing rules and regulations. At their worst, they become a means of social control

Learn to follow your conscience to find faith and loveIt seems that nothing in the world has caused more war and destruction than religion, yet many of the greatest leaders embraced spirituality as a central source of their strength. How do we come to understand this apparent dichotomy? Perhaps the issue is that people have created religion to understand the deeper spiritual nature of…

Raise your voice by casting your vote

How could I not be grateful that I have the freedom to question the practices of my government through direct contact with politicians and through the press?

Raise your voice by casting your voteI always get very excited at election time. This is the moment when we can freely choose who will represent us, the moment when we play a vital role in the direction of our government. As I read statistics on voter turnout, however, I’m confused as to why others don’t share my enthusiasm. Perhaps I…

Learn to recognize destructive leadership and respond

We live in a world of failed and successful social experiments. Repeating patterns tend to reveal deeper truths

Learn to recognize destructive leadership and respondThe great German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “By seeking and blundering we learn.” How true this is. If we take the time to understand our mistakes, life is rich on so many levels. No individual is immune to error. When we examine why things didn’t work out as we hoped, can find new…

Rising from the ashes to achieve greatness

It hurts to be rejected or see a dream come to an end, but it shouldn't impact our ability to live with integrity and find success

Rising from the ashes to achieve greatnessWe all face disappointments and challenges. We don’t get picked for a team, we don’t get a promotion, we’re turned down by a potential lover or we see a dream come to an end. What’s important in life isn’t what happens to us, however. It’s how we respond. Great people aren’t without problems. They’re people…

Judge Trudeau on his full dossier, not just a few past incidents

The photographs won’t influence whether I vote for the Liberal in my riding. I have four years of government actions – and inactions – on which to base my decision

Judge Trudeau on his full dossier, not just a few past incidentsJustin Trudeau caused a stir when photos and videos were revealed of him darkening his face to pretend to be characters of other ethnicities. But there are far broader issues to consider in this scandal. Green Party leader Elizabeth May stated, “I am deeply shocked by the racism shown in the photograph (from 2001) of…

Embrace higher ideals to truly change the world

There’s more than enough good in this world for everyone and every person has the potential for greatness

Embrace higher ideals to truly change the worldA study of history exposes many mistakes mankind has made. But we also see many great successes. What creates this difference? At the core of each person, there are guiding principles. We innately know that love, kindness, humility, truth and compassion are paramount, and our ability to embrace these ideals impacts the direction of the…

A rising tide of young, principle-driven leaders

The climate crisis is important to many Canadians, and leaders like Ocasio-Cortez and Thunberg have empowered and inspired youthful voters

A rising tide of young, principle-driven leadersThe Dalai Lama recently tweeted, “I am encouraged to see young people trying to bring about positive change. Confident because their efforts are based on truth and reason – therefore they will succeed.” As one who works with young people, I find these words so encouraging, and I look around me and see that they’re…

Let’s make ‘vapin’ in the boys room’ a thing of the past

Young people are getting hooked on vaping, despite the many unknowns. We need to develop effective counter programs before it's too late

Let’s make ‘vapin’ in the boys room’ a thing of the pastIn 1973, the band Brownsville Station released the song Smokin’ in the Boys Room. At the time, nearly half of Canadian adults and teens smoked. Reports had been coming out for years about the dangers of tobacco use but smoking was still seen as a cool thing to do. Over the next several decades, the…

Giving voice to our concerns and desires validates democracy

Democracy in action illustrates how important it is for Canadians to talk with their government officials on all levels

Giving voice to our concerns and desires validates democracyOne of the most important tasks I have as a public school educator is empowering my students to take an active role in the Canadian political process. And if I’m going to ask my students to be active citizens, I need to model the desired behaviour. I’ve honestly been very impressed with the responses I’ve…

Are electric cars really a solution to the climate crisis?

There are serious social, economic and environmental costs to driving any kind of vehicle. We must consider the implications of every choice

Are electric cars really a solution to the climate crisis?American actress Alexandra Paul summarized the sentiment of much of the world when she said, “The cars we drive say a lot about us.” The climate crisis also says a lot about us as a society and one of greatest culprits related to that crisis is the automobile. As a result, many people are choosing…

The essential values of having courage and being kind

Instinct says to fight or flee, yet often neither is possible. Examining the story of Cinderella shows us that being kind and having courage can be enough

The essential values of having courage and being kindThough The Walt Disney Co. has been criticized for changing traditional fairy tales to make them palatable for modern audiences, sometimes it simply brings the lesson of the legend into very clear focus. A good example is the 2015 live action version of Cinderella starring Lily James, of Downton Abby fame. Cinderella’s birth mother gives…
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